Commonwealth Scholarship recipient, Beenish Neik Chaudhry, has big ambitions to return to transform higher education in Pakistan.

Speaking of her scholarship to study a PhD at the University of Essex, Beenish said: “This has been a life-changing experience. It made me believe in magic. It helped me to materialize my dream of gaining PhD degree from one of the best universities in the UK”.

Beenish is currently undertaking a PhD in Management Studies, with the aim of taking her learnings back to her native country Pakistan to continue her work there. “I was working in the Higher Education sector of Pakistan before joining Essex. I believe the teaching and research skills learnt from Essex will help me to apply these skills in Pakistan's higher education sector and I will be able to surely make an impact on my fellow colleagues and students”.

Beenish recalls some of the difficulties she has encountered on the way to Essex, “I think the education system in my country was quite different from UK’s education system. Learning to unlearn what I have learnt previously and making myself comfortable with the academic standards here has been my biggest challenge”.

Essex has offered Beenish a new world of opportunities and she said, “Essex is one of the world class universities. Its research-oriented environment, academic facilities, and student friendly beautiful campus, makes it most sought-after university in the UK. Being part of Essex community is so special for me”.

“I think one should be able to understand and have tolerance for cultural diversity before coming here. Essex is such a diverse cultural community, and this aspect of Essex makes it even more beautiful”.

We're inspired by all students at Essex who, like Beenish, want to serve as role models for future generations, making their mark on the world and having an impact on society. Thanks to our generous donors, we're paving the way to bring these ambitions to life through our £1m Essex Futures scholarships appeal.

This blog was written by Student Philanthropy Assistant, Jeswin Joseph.