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Environmental graduates celebrate in Kenya

28 January 2020

Environmental graduates and Open University academics pictured at ceremony

A ceremony has been held to celebrate the achievements of the Open University's first Commonwealth Scholarship-funded postgraduates in Environmental Management in Kenya.

In 2015 The Open University’s Postgraduate Environmental Management programme were successful in applying for funding from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission for bursaries to fund students from Kenya.  

Since then students on this programme have faced the usual problems of balancing work and study faced by all OU students.  

In addition, they have faced difficulties such as internet access, caring responsibilities (almost all the students had young children, and many cared for elderly parents, grandparents and other family members) and travel problems – one woman regularly travelled for over six hours with a young baby to attend tutorials.

The first group of students completed their degrees in the summer of 2019 and, like all students, they wanted to celebrate their success with their families.  

Attending a UK graduation was unaffordable to most students, so the OU's Environmental Management Team took the celebration to the students, organising a ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in central Nairobi on 17 November 2019.  

Making a difference

The four graduate – Lilian Kagume, Stephen Masila, Carren Nasiaka and Emmanuel Ngore – were congratulated by members of the OU’s Qualification Team, and shared their stories with their extended families.

“Being awarded an MSc will mean a great deal to the graduates’ lives and the lives of their families,” said Teresa Cox, Senior Manager (Qualifications) in the OU faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  

“Already, our graduates are making a difference to their country as they develop their careers as entrepreneurs, regulators, teachers, researchers and community activists. 

“The Open University is ‘open to people, places, methods and ideas’.  Despite the challenges, the success of our graduates in Kenya showed us what this really means.”

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Photo shows (left to right): Lilian Kagume; Stephen Masila; Dr Toni Gladding (OU Senior Lecturer); Carren Nasiaka; Emmanuel Ngore; Dr Shahram Taherzadeh (OU Senior Lecturer); Dr Stephen Burnley (OU Senior Lecturer)

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