An MSc at LSE - So Close, yet so Far

I have been accepted to the LSE but have fallen short £10,000 from attending!

  • £1,895

    pledged of £10,000

    • 15


    • 0


Completion Date: Thu 30 Jul 2015

Who am i and what is my story anyways?

Hi everyone, my name is Tijana Kolundzija, I am 30 years old and from Belgrade, Serbia. After earning my Bachelors Degree in Italian in 2008, I focused my education on the development sector, since I have lived through the most difficult socio-economic situations my country has faced, with my grandparents fleeing as refugees in the civil wars of the 90s and the total collapse of society. My proficiency in Italian at least afforded me a scholarship from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to do my Master in Local Human Development and International Cooperation at the University of Florence, where I graduated with honors in 2010.

Since this priceless academic experience abroad, I have worked in the economic and social development sector in Serbia on programmes financed by the Italian Development Cooperation over the last five years, especially on those supporting the development of Serbian small and medium enterprises, the rights of disabled persons, as well as much neglected rural development. That's me in the picture below holding a presentation (on the far left).

I am also an eager volunteer (covering project development and reporting) for the NGO  El Sistema Serbia, a worldwide famous programme, founded by Venezuelan Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu, which promotes social inclusion of disadvantaged children through group music classes.

After years of hard work and study, I finally was awarded an unconditional offer as of early 2014 to enroll into the MSc in Public Policy and Administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science, but, unfortunately, I had to defer it to this academic year of 2015/2016, paying £1000 since I was unable to afford the high costs of the Master. Sadly, although I have sought out scholarships and grant opportunities and have been shortlisted, I have not been selected for the Chevening scholarship or others.

I firmly believe that this Master is a natural next step for my academic and professional career and I really hope that thanks to your precious help my dream will come true. In order to achieve it, I am willing and am strongly convinced that it is worth investing all my savings into. My family has also recognized how strongly I am dedicated to my goal and they will also contribute substantially within the limits of their means. Nevertheless, I am also taking out a loan to cover the difference, so I have secured enough funds to cover the living costs for nine months in such an expensive city as London, as well as the part of my tuition fee.

Still, all these funds are not sufficient to meet the cost of the programme in full, I am therefore turning to you all as my last resort and hope in order to make my dream master my own, by partially contributing to the payment of the tuition fee. If we jointly succeed in this crowdfunding project, I assure you that I will do my best to justify your confidence in me through my engagement in the betterment of my community, country, and region because I don't want this just for myself, i want it to be better able to make a difference in the lives of those around me.

Aims and money issues

- I have been given an unconditional offer to attend the MSc in Public Policy and Administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science  but not a scholarship.

- I am trying to raise a minimum of £10,000 to meet the costs of my tuition fee which lies beyond my financial means.

- The total tuition fee is £18,600, but a minimum of £10,000 would get me there.

- I need to reach this funding goal by 30 July 2015 in order to be able to attend the master.

Cost breakdown

The total cost of the programme comes to: £ 28,500

- Tuition fee: £18,600

- Estimated Living costs for nine months £9,900

Currently, through my own efforts, I have secured £18,500:
- My personal savings and family contribution are only able to amount to £10,000
- I am taking out a loan of £8,500 to cover the difference

PayPal fees (3.5%, applied to successful projects): £350

- I will also be working while attending the programme, which will assist with living expenses. (There is no such thing as a free lunch and I intend to earn mine.)

All donations, even the smallest ones, would be hugely appreciated. I am thrilled by the mere prospect of doing this Master and I hope I would be able to do so thanks to your support I am so grateful for. 

Thank you in advance for anything you feel you can contribute. I cannot express how much it means to me!

What I hope to gain from an MSc in Public Policy and Administration at the LSE?

The MSc in Public Policy and Administration at the LSE is world-renowned and there are numerous reasons why it has been my dream to attend and earn this Master:

. The Master will allow me to gain a multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary standing towards public policy which I will further use to address development issues in Serbia and the region.
By studying approaches and issues in public policy and administration, I would be able to better contribute as an individual and professional in Serbia having earned the MSc.
- S
ince public administration reform has been identified as one of the three pillars on the Serbian path to European Union, Serbia needs professionals able to bring best practices and updated competences in the field of public policy to speed up the transition process; I would like to be one of these professionals.

- Not only is it one of the best programmes in public policy available, but I am unable to complete a similar MSc In Serbia because there is no relevant institution of higher learning offering anything even close to it.
- The UK has long history on public policy and administration and should be a role model for Serbia, particularly when it comes to its policy formulation practices and policy impact assesment, which I am most interested in (evidence-based policies, wide consultations with stakeholders, analytical approaches) and for this reason the UK, and more specifically the LSE, is the best place to gain needed skills and competences in order to be able to make a difference to the socio-economic development of my Country.
- Their students go on to become well recognized experts in their own fields
- The programme is conducted by leading figures who offer firm insight and guidance into the world of Public Policy and Administration.


Please share this project with anyone you think would support me – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat with friends and acquaintances or on your blog.