I am trying to raise raise £18,653 to pay for my first year of tuition for the MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Oxford.
Who are you AND WHAT'S YOUR PROJECT?
My name is Genevieve Richardson. I have just completed my Undergraduate degree in French and Spanish at the University of Leeds, and earlier this year was offered places to study for the MPhil in Development Studies at both Oxford and Cambridge. Although I was over the moon to be offered the opportunity to study at two of the country's best universities, the hefty price tag attached may well prevent me from fulfilling my dream. I have chosen to accept Oxford's offer because the course is more holistic, offers a wider range of modules and also involves writing a 30,000 word thesis, which will be extremely beneficial when I go on to do my PhD. After losing out on a couple of the highly competitive scholarships offered by both universities, I am left with only a few options: take out a career development loan, crowd source and apply for other educational grants offered by independent bodies. Seeing as I am already saddled with debt after my undergraduate degree, I obviously want to borrow as little money as I can. I have some savings (£4,000), which will go towards living costs, but nowhere near enough to cover my tuition and college fees, which cost £18,653 per year.
WHAT IS DEVELOPMENT STUDIES?
The MPhil in Development Studies at Oxford is a multidisciplinary Master's course that combines both taught and research aspects. It is a two-year course that will allow me to study the economic, social and political development of developing countries and their relationship with other countries around the world. I am confident that studying for the MPhil at Oxford will provide me with the best possible stepping stone to working in academia. I spent much of last summer and the first semester of my final year researching for my Master's proposal, which was hard to juggle with other commitments. Luckily it paid off! However, it is saddening that the hard work it took me to get in might all be for nothing if I cannot come up with the funds.
My intended thesis addresses the issue of aid dependency with a regional focus on West Africa, elucidating the reasons why foreign aid more often than not fails to create conditions that are conducive to economic development, and proposing alternative solutions for sustainable social and economic growth. This work would serve the purpose of contributing to the debate on the efficacy of foreign aid, which has in many quarters been criticised for hindering, rather than fostering, economic growth. I would like to take not only an economic approach, but also a social one to examine the 'aid attitude', which is a potentially damaging legacy of the colonialist era. Therefore, my proposed title is 'Towards a Social Approach to the Issue of Aid Dependency'. I plan to continue the study of aid dependency at doctoral level, narrowing my focus by concentrating on a particular country or more specific time period. I would like to become a university researcher and lecturer, contributing to the issue of socioeconomic development in the global South through the publication of articles and books. I would also like to act as a consultant to governmental and non-governmental organisations on the issues in which I am interested and seek to become an expert.
I was initially skeptical about the prospect of crowd sourcing for my education, but after meeting Rachel Owhin, who studies Migration Studies, during a visit to Oxford this year (whose campaign 'Oxford 10000' raised over £10,000'), I felt newly driven in my aim not to let my socioeconomic background prevent me from accessing further study. Therefore, by giving money or even sharing this page, you will be contributing to improving social mobility in this country; that is, allowing someone from an average socioeconomic background and who is state-school educated to access a university that is usually relegated to those who have gone to the best private schools in the country.
WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO?
All money raised will go directly to the University tuition and college fees, and any donations raised in excess will be saved for the second year of tuition.
Year 1 University Fee: £15,805
Year 1 College Fee: £2,848
Oxford require me to prove that I have this much money by the end of the month or else I will have to forfeit the place!
For my second year I will take advantage of the new governmental student loans for Master's students available from 2016, and fund the rest by applying for internal scholarships and other external bodies.
I have some great rewards to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. Check them out - they're to your right!
Find ME here
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If you would like any more information, feel free to contact me on any of the above platforms or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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HELP ME SUCEED
You don't need to give money to help me succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support this project - on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by e-mail, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.