Celebrating 20 years of Marshal Papworth scholars 

December 2022

Image for press release - Danisa stands in front of a tree, holding his MSc certificate
(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

For 20 years, Writtle University College in Essex and Marshal Papworth have worked together to support students from around the world. 

Since 2002, the University College has welcomed scholarship winners from India, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, for the next step in their educational journey. 

Marshal Papworth awards funds to students from developing countries, giving successful applicants opportunities to study for postgraduate courses in subjects that support food security and sustainability.

The Fund is named after its late founder. Marshal was a Huntingdonshire farmer and an active member of the East of England Agricultural Society. Before his death in a flying accident, he travelled extensively in Asia and Africa. His generous legacy continues to provide educational opportunities.  

Dr Anya Perera, Head of School for Sustainable Environments & Design, said: "Over the last 20 years, we've helped 18 Marshal Papworth scholars to gain postgraduate MSc qualifications in agriculture, horticulture and animal science. We are proud to see our alumni making a difference to sustainable food systems for communities around the world and look forward to welcoming the next generation of students to our campus."

The fund aims to enrich lives by helping students to develop skills they can take back to their communities.

Paul Opio came to Writtle in 2010 as a Marshal Papworth scholar. He said: "As veterinarian working in Uganda, I faced lots of challenges from livestock diseases and environment as well, so, when I started to look for where I could do a course about animal production, the place that was so appealing was Writtle."

Paul studied an animal-related Masters degree and is now a Livestock Officer. He has worked with "millions of pastoralist livelihoods and livestock keepers in Eastern Africa - through policy support, strategy development and response to livestock crises particularly through drought."

Danisa Matebesi (pictured) completed his MSc in Crop Production (Horticulture) in 2020. He shares skills and knowledge with horticulture teachers in Zimbabwe.

Danisa said: "The MSc Crop Production (Horticulture) at Writtle University College is unique in that it covers the whole latitude of issues in the horticulture value chain from a global perspective. I thank the East of England Agricultural Society's Marshal Papworth Scholarship Fund for making it possible for me to access this specialised learning."