Celebrating
a centenary
of Learning

  • 91
  • by Sika Akoto
  • graduated 2011
  • studied Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)
  • from Ghana

My aversion to anything mathematical was completely changed during my time at the Graduate School of Education and, for the first time, I enjoyed learning statistics.

Prior to my time at the University of Bristol I attended the University of Ghana where I obtained my Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. I studied for a PhD in Education at the Graduate School of Education. I applied for this because, at the time, I believed I needed a further degree to sharpen my analytical skills.

I was convinced the University of Bristol, being a world class institution, would offer the best training in Education. Secondly, Bristol – with its picturesque views and the great blend of city life and countryside – offered a peaceful oasis for an international student facing adjustment issues in my host culture.

My aversion to anything mathematical was completely changed during my time at the Graduate School of Education and, for the first time, I enjoyed learning statistics. The regular Culture, Learning, Identities & Organizations (CLIO) seminars were a great time to listen to scholars and experienced researchers alike. The Graduate School of Education was the most encouraging and nurturing environment. Everything was effortless and I found solutions to all my needs. I am grateful to the administrative staff in particular for their assistance and for making my office work count in my accomplishments at the Graduate School of Education. My fondest memory was passing my upgrade. It was a nerve-wracking experience, but it motivated me to focus on my research.

My supervisor Dr Sheila Trahar had the most influence on me at Bristol. She was very supportive, both academically and emotionally. Her patience and drive to accomplish tasks on time helped me to focus on my research, making me the first to have my viva among my year group. I am very grateful for the life-long friend made in Bristol. With Dr Trahar’s help, I contributed a chapter to a book. This has been a proud achivement.

I have been back to work since graduating. My aim is to get a promotion and possibly use it to make new career decisions. A journey of a thousand miles starts with just a step. Make sure that those early steps count.