Keren He, MSc Education (Comparative Education and International Development) 2018
'This one-year programme truly altered me. I started to look for data and evidence, thinking from different perspectives. I began to face and care about ethnicity, ethics and racism because I knew what we studied really mattered. More importantly, I think I gradually developed and enriched my personality rather than a specific skill.'
Keren, originally from China, was an undergraduate student prior to starting her studies at Edinburgh. She says 'Studying at Moray House School of Education and Sport was an absolutely fantastic and unique experience for me! It was the first time I truly started to THINK, EXPLORE and RESPOND. It was also the first time I got to know how diverse this world is. Unlike how rapidly science changes and promotes this world, this programme or education, in general, affects people gradually and eternally.'
Why did you choose to study at the University of Edinburgh?
I honestly feel there is nothing too much I need to address. Because it’s already fantastic enough and when you hear The University of Edinburgh you know that’s it, that’s the place you would like to finish your higher education and pursue your dream, let alone its good reputation, academic achievements and lovely location.
Why did you choose to study this degree?
For me, education includes teaching but doesn’t equal to teaching. Compared to my fellow peers who chose this degree might because of their interests or future career plan, I chose this degree because I wanted to educate myself through this degree from a thoroughly and systematically angle. Education is a diverse field which involves politics, economy, culture and even history. Unlike how rapidly science changes and promotes this world, this degree or education, in general, affects people gradually and eternally. However, it seems that we often overlook the importance and essence of education but do pay more attention to the learning results in real life. That’s why I decided to give myself an opportunity to explore more about the EDUCATION.
What did you enjoy most about the programme?
I enjoyed the debates between my fellow peers and our lecturers because that was literally like a beam of light made a hole in the ignorance of my life. I also really enjoyed all the efforts the tutors have put in, applying great new technologies in the class, encouraging me to attend lots of different seminars which coincidently helped me meet my best lifelong friends in Scotland!
What specific skills did you develop?
I would say critical thinking! Surprisingly I found out that this one-year programme truly altered me. I didn’t follow others’ ideas easily; I started to look for data and evidence, thinking from different perspectives, for instance, if I was trying to persuade someone or write an essay. I began to face and care about ethnicity, ethics and racism because I knew what we studied really mattered. More importantly, I think I gradually developed and enriched my personality rather than a specific skill.
What was the most useful thing you learned in your lectures, workshops and tutorials?
The most useful thing I learned was to be thoughtful and tolerant because everything exists for a certain reason. For example, when I’m trying to explain why a certain policy exists, I need to take a comprehensive background into consideration instead of just standing on my own stance to comment.
Why would you recommend the programme to others?
I would recommend this programme because it not only offers students professional lectures, well-structured coursework and plenty of interesting workshops but also studying and living with a group of lovely people who truly care about you, respect you and think of you will be a fantastic experience!
What advice would you give to someone considering studying this programme at Edinburgh?
Please do not hesitate if the University of Edinburgh is on your wish list. Do come and experience in advance if you have the opportunity. If you don’t, read the course introduction and description carefully. Get yourself well prepared if you are offered a place because a fabulous adventure is waiting for you right around the corner.
What is your current role or occupation now that you have graduated?
I am working as an international project officer for the Institute of High Energy, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In what way do you think the degree has contributed to your career?
This programme has changed my mindset from a bit exclusive to inclusive. Working as an international project officer, being inclusive and embracing different cultures are essential abilities.
How did your experience at Edinburgh help you get where you are today?
It helped me a lot to be fair. I searched for knowledge, I gained an overseas working experience, I developed a sense of ‘unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind’. All these have shaped me to be who I am today, an independent, unique and great people person.
What advice would you have for someone looking to work in your industry?
Never be afraid to challenge yourself in a field you might not be good at.