Matthew Kanu contributes this story:
Victoria Koroma is a former student of the University of Makeni Law Department. She graduated in 2016 with a first class in LLB and did extremely well at Law School (with a class 2:2) and emerged as the best student in her Bar Class. A few months after her call to the bar she won a Commonwealth Scholarship to the United Kingdom for an LLM Program in Gender, Conflict and Human Rights Law at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. The one year course is a jointly funded programme with funds from both Commonwealth and Ulster University described as ‘Commonwealth Shared Scholarship’.
This Shared Scholarship is highly competitive as it is open to all Commonwealth citizens in the world. However, she was very lucky to get it especially in a University with a single award (nomination candidate). It is a fully funded scholarship with travel, tuition and living expenses fully taken care of. This course will end in September 2017 when she will have submitted her dissertation. However, her visa will last till January 2018. At the moment, she is searching for a PhD scholarship opportunity as the Shared Scholarship does not fund PhDs.
The course started on the 29th September after a two week orientation. Coming from a post war country as well as her experience in human rights activities in Sierra Leone means that some of the contents of the course are not new. One thing she is very appreciative of and which has helped her got a foundation is the basis she learnt from her Human Rights Law class at UNIMAK. Also, the rigors she went through in writing her dissertation and getting to learn how to reference work to avoid the ‘almighty’ plagiarism check at UNIMAK has greatly helped her with the basis to do a better Oscola referencing. Assessment grades have started coming out and she is up to expectation.
Commonwealth Scholarships are amazing with no expenses left unfunded. Students who have completed their degrees with excellent results can go get this opportunity even without the help of the national nominating body (Ministry of Education). All that is required is to visit their website, check their criteria, put relevant documents together be ready to give you time and get started. You will be surprised when you realize that it works.
She is in a special way thankful to Father Joseph Turay (Vice Chancellor of UNIMAK), Adam Goguen (Former Registrar of UNIMAK) and Joseph Kobba (a lecturer of the UNIMAK Law Department) for their support in making this dream a success. She is grateful to Bishop Natalio Paganelli (Bishop of Makeni Diocese ) and the entire Diocese of Makeni for their generosity all through her university studies.