Over the past academic year a Marshal Papworth scholar, Paul Opio, has been studying for an MSc in Animal Production and Nutrition at Writtle College in Essex. Paul, who is from Uganda, Africa, was awarded his scholarship from the Marshal Papworth Trust in July 2010, and is aiming for completion in September this year.
Scholarships, awarded by the Marshal Papworth Trust of the East of England Agricultural Society, are offered in a bid to support agricultural and horticultural students from developing countries across the world. The competitive scholarships cover tuition fees and living expenses and are awarded to students who, in the view of the judging panel, will be able to apply their qualifications for the benefit of the wider community on returning to their home country.
Writtle College is in a privileged position of being able to offer international students access to the opportunity of a full scholarship from the Marshal Papworth Trust. Students who have secured a place on a relevant course at Writtle may be selected by academics from the College and put forward to the Marshal Papworth Trust. Scholarships are then awarded on a competitive basis to suitably academically qualified candidates.
Paul Opio found out about his offer from the Trust after a long day working in the field in Uganda. Here he recalls his story: “I had been nervously waiting and checking my personal email for a few weeks, and then one night I saw that I had an email from the Marshal Papworth fund, the email read:
‘Applications for the next academic year have now been completed and we are very pleased to advise you that you have been awarded a scholarship to undertake your MSc Animal Production & Nutrition at Writtle College.’
“I re-read the email so many times that the night, my eyes were simply glued to the computer screen, but the more I read it the more I realised that it was true and that is when my tears of joy came.
“The first person I called to tell my good news was my twin brother; he was so happy for me that he cried with joy too. When I sat down to tell my wife I finally realised the enormity of my achievement and how our lives were going to change. My wife was so overwhelmed and completely full of emotion, she said simply ‘that our prayers had been answered’.
“The scholarship has been a turning point in my career and I now feel empowered to reach new heights. The only final thing I can say is that my blessings go out to all who coordinate the scholarship fund and long may the founder’s intentions live - I feel privileged to be a part of what he wished for from starting the scholarship.”
Upon completion in September Paul plans to go straight home to Uganda and “contribute to the livestock development in the country and hopefully the greater horn of Africa - an area which is challenged by persistent drought and food insecurity.”
When asked about his studies in England, Paul said: “Writtle College will always be a part of my history - the environment at Writtle is second to none and the international student mix makes it even more delightful sharing experiences and studying in a multi-cultural environment”.
Pictured: Paul Opio (on left) with study colleagues at Writtle College
Info on Marshal Papworth Scholarship
A scholarship enables students to study for one year at specially selected Universities and Colleges participating in the Scheme throughout the United Kingdom, giving students access to a wide range of Postgraduate courses. Further details may be found on: www.marshalpapworth.com
Info on Writtle College
The Postgraduate Animal Science department at Writtle College offers taught courses in Animal Health Science, Animal Welfare and Conservation and Animal Livestock Production Science as well as programmes undertaken by research leading to an MSc, MPhil or PhD award. Each programme can be studied as a full or part-time postgraduate qualification.