Inspirational student meets Prince Charles as climate debate rages

  • Date

    Tue 23 Nov 21

Prince Charles meets the scholars

An inspirational University of Essex student met Prince Charles as world leaders discussed the climate crisis at the crunch COP26 conference.

Ismet Soyocak discussed the Prince of Wales’ work as he revealed the efforts of the British Council to protect the environment.

Ismet was there as he is a GREAT scholar, which is funded by the council and gives international students the chance to study in the UK at leading universities.

The COP satellite event took place in London with HRH attending the British Council’s headquarters to open its new Prince of Wales suite.

Reliving the moment he met the royal he said: “I am just charmed by his humble approach, genuine attention and knowledge on the matters and how he was invested to get to know me and my fellow scholars’ academic work and future goals.

“I shared my ideas on how private sectors, particularly heavy industries of energy and mining are at a vital position on mitigating the climate crisis.”

Ismet joined the University in October as a GREAT scholar for a Sustainable Future Scholars.

He flew over from Turkey, and was joined by Lamis El Khatieb, from Egypt, who are both on the MSc in Environmental Futures with Climate Change MSc programme.

Essex has worked closely with the British Council to develop a programme around their study to provide opportunities to connect environmentally minded individuals and organisations impatient for change.

Lamis said: “My experience at Essex so far has been full of new friends, new places and new life perspectives.

“University of Essex is a great place to study and find the support you need in your career; people are so friendly; they do not judge you and that gives you the space to be creative and learn effectively.”

GREAT Scholarships for a Sustainable Future is part of a global cultural relations programme led by the British Council to add value to COP26, creating opportunities for interested people around the world.

Jointly funded by the British Council, the GREAT Britain Campaign, and participating UK higher education institutions.

These scholarships are for students from Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey, and Vietnam who want to study at a UK university for a one-year postgraduate course in a climate change-related subject, widening participation in climate change courses in the UK and creating confident young people who can speak out to protect the planet.

It has been launched to help them pursue green jobs and fight climate change.

Ismet said that the GREAT scholarship allowed him to “study his passion at an academic level”, which he will be able to embed into his already established career in mining.

He was also able to attend a range of events at COP26 in Glasgow, “particularly around my personal interest areas of CSR, holistic and deep-dive scientific approach for organisations, policy making negotiations and a more sustainable heavy industry targeting GHG management and reduction work in general".