Edinburgh Global

Una Europa: open to all

Master of Public Health and online Kenyan student Amanda Wanyonyi takes us through her rewarding Una Europa experiences.

​ Amanda Wanyonyi in a group photo at the European Student Assembly ​
​ Amanda Wanyonyi, front row, third from the left, attending the European Student Assembly in Strasbourg, France.

Eleven leading European research universities have come together to create a unique alliance – Una Europa, which Edinburgh is proudly a partner. Una Europa aims to draw on our collective strengths to create a truly European inter-university environment, a University of the Future.  

Student opportunities through Una Europa include summer schools, workshops, online challenge-based courses and more – which Amanda has been able to take part and benefit from both in person and virtually. 

I look forward to leveraging the knowledge and skills I have gained from both the European Student Assembly and the Una Europa One Health Summer School to pursue opportunities in international organisations, NGOs, government organisations, and private sectors involved in shaping health policies globally.

Amanda Wanyonyi Master of Public Health student, the University of Edinburgh 

One Health Summer School  

Una Europa’s annual One Health Summer School took place at KU Leuven in Belgium during summer 2023. It brought together students, doctoral researchers and staff from across Una Europa member universities to explore interdisciplinary One Health issues and to work towards building solutions together. Una Europa Summer Schools feature: 

  • An innovative, interdisciplinary programme designed by world-leading academics 

  • A highly collaborative and interactive programme enabling students to work closely with peers, mentors and academics in a multicultural community 

  • A modular approach with a set of online and on-site elements, addressing different levels of expertise 

Amanda first got involved with Una Europa through her short-term mobility experience in this summer school,  

She explains, “Since the programme integrated both online and physical components, it allowed us to learn more about different One Health topics before coming together to tackle real-life challenges.”  

“The experience made me even more passionate about making a positive impact on global health and has inspired me to continue working towards collaborative solutions.” 

The next Una Europa One Health Summer School will take place in the summer of 2024 at Helsingin yliopisto/ Helsingfors universitet. Edinburgh will fund three PhD students to explore One Health concepts in depth and connect with doctoral researchers and staff from across Una Europa and beyond. 

European Student Assembly 

Amanda Wanyonyi is sat at a desk at the European Student Assembly with the flag of Europe behind her
Amanda Wanyonyi at the European Student Assembly

Amanda’s experience with Una Europa continued when she was selected to represent the University of Edinburgh and Una Europa at the 2024 European Student Assembly (ESA) in Strasbourg, France.  

The ESA began as a grassroots initiative by the European Universities Community (EUC) to gather over 250 student representatives from European University Alliances. Amanda says, “European Student Assembly champions student voices by debating current issues and drafting policy recommendations, providing me with an avenue to collaborate with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures, united by a shared goal - driving positive change.”  

“By working together, we can leverage our collective knowledge and expertise to address pressing challenges facing Europe and the world. ESA has empowered me to be an active agent of change, fostering a sense of responsibility and commitment to addressing global challenges.” 

"I had always wondered how different European Institutions worked, and there I was at the European Parliament, participating in recommendations and inter-panel discussions and voting for different recommendations." 

Reshaping Europe’s healthcare system 

Amanda chose to be a part of the ESA panel discussing: Cure of the future - What approach should the EU adopt regarding health and more particularly the advancements of biomedicine?  

Amanda shares, “From January to April, our team put together recommendations on reshaping Europe’s healthcare system. Our collaborative efforts resulted in a set of comprehensive recommendations aimed at shaping the future of healthcare in Europe. All our proposed panel policies were voted for.” 

“Participating in ESA has greatly influenced my future career aspirations in global health policy - providing invaluable practical experiences applying public health concepts to real-world policy discussions.” 

“A sense of belonging” 

Una Europa universities have been educating Europe for over 1,000 years. Together, we teach over 500,000 students and count almost 100,000 university staff among our network, with digital learners numbering in the millions.  

When asked how she feels about the University of Edinburgh being part of a European Alliance such as Una Europa, Amanda responded: 

“A sense of belonging - it can be difficult to feel like you belong to the University’s community as an online student, and more often than not one can find themselves immersed solely in studies because that is what they have - or so they think.” 

Through Una Europa, I have had access to a wealth of resources and opportunities and have participated in collaborative initiatives that transcend geographical boundaries.

Amanda Wanyonyi Master of Public Health student, the University of Edinburgh 

Student mobility funding 

The Development Trust generously funds these Una Europa activities for our students. Without this support, we would not be able to fund these opportunities, which contribute significantly to students' learning experiences. 

Scholars Network: Connect, Support, Thrive 

Awarded a Commonwealth Distance-Learning Scholarship, Amanda has been active in Scholars Network events. Attending the University of Edinburgh Scholars Network gathering in Nairobi and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) Development in Action webinars that bring together Commonwealth Scholars.    

The Scholars Network at the University of Edinburgh fosters a vibrant, global community of diverse scholars who have been awarded prestigious and highly competitive scholarships, offering them support, resources, and unique opportunities across academic disciplines.  

Learn more about the Scholars Network 

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