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Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships

Two of our MSc Clinical Education students reflect on how the Commonwealth Scholarships have benefited their career and the important health work they do.

Ayesha Hanif

Clinical Lecturer at Ziauddin University, Pakistan

The year 2020 had been a particularly difficult year for many. In the same year I was tremendously fortunate to qualify as the recipient of the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship; undeniably a dream come true. I am enrolled in the MSc Clinical Education programme offered at the University of Edinburgh and I'm currently a year 1 student.

Clinical education is a field that is not available in Pakistan and therefore is an area of neglect. I’m a Dentist by profession and a clinical instructor at a dental school in Karachi, Pakistan. I’ve always felt the need of a massive upgrade in our pedagogical methods, assessment techniques and curriculum, specially pertaining to clinical education, to produce better graduates as per the need of time.

Ayesha doing a presentation

In pursuing the degree, and being almost a year into it, I feel grateful to be tutored by some of the best minds and teachers who have helped shaped my knowledge, concepts, application of the acquired info and being better every day. The course so far has helped me in being scientifically equipped with the knowledge and has helped spark critical thinking and appreciate the evidence-based knowledge.

I have also learnt innovative methods of teaching and learning, diverse aspects of the process of education and interrelation of multiple factors which, frankly, I was oblivious to before. 

Furthermore, it has been inspiring to see the work ethics, dedication to teaching, knowledge, readiness, approachability and the gentle attitude of all the tutors. Yet another learning for me to help shape my personality as an educator.

Despite this course being a distance learning course, I am grateful to have made friendly relations with fellow students.. Hailing from different backgrounds yet being able to connect and call ourselves “friends” is definitely a cherishable outcome of studying at the University of Edinburgh.

To be able to pursue a degree from one of the finest Universities of the world, in a hope to bring a meaningful change in my country, make improvements and further the subject knowledge is the intended goal that has been made possible only because of the scholarship.

I can say with pride that some of the learned methods have already been proposed by me at my University back home, which have been appreciated and are in the pilot stage of implementation. A series of improvements and small changes to make a bigger impact.

The Commonwealth scholarship has been my gateway to a new horizon and I wholeheartedly encourage my fellow clinical educators to apply for it.  

 

Isuru Dharmarathna

Speech and Language Therapist

Isuru

I have just completed year 2 of the MSc programme and I am very grateful to the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission and the University of Edinburgh for the opportunity to study the MSc Clinical Education as a young academic.

Still in my fourth year in academia, I have been able to expand my knowledge of adult learning practices to train healthcare professionals, which is a huge boost for my academic career.

The Department of Disability Studies of the University of Kelaniya is the only institute of its kind to offer undergraduate programmes specialising in speech and language therapy and audiology in Sri Lanka.

When I was learning theoretical underpinnings of teaching/learning techniques, assessments and curriculum development during the first year of the MSc Clinical Education programme, I was fortunate to utilise practical application of these theories at my workplace. 

Following this programme has aided me to offer coherent opinion/feedback in the process, which improved my self-esteem as an academic. In this second academic year, I was able to develop a potential proposal for the research project to conduct in Year 3.

Considering my academic context in Sri Lanka, I wanted to identify a research question that is timely and will add new knowledge to the Sri Lankan clinical education field.

 

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