A Nigerian woman, Halima Ali Shuwa, studying Immunology at the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, has emerged as the best doctorate student of the year.
Dr Shuwa revealed this on her LinkedIn page and also confirmed it to Vanguard on Thursday.
She got her Bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science (BMLS) at the University of Maiduguri, Borno State and a Master’s degree in Immunology at Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto State.
She then won a Petroleum Technology Development Fund overseas scholarship award in 2018 to travel to the UK for her doctorate degree.
Speaking about her academic feat, Shuwa told Vanguard that she was still in an ecstatic mood over the award, while thinking of the federal government.
Shuwa wrote on her LinkedIn page: “Yes. I was awarded PGR (post-graduate research) student of the year by the University of Manchester Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health in the UK.
“Euphoria is what I’ll describe this feeling. This feels so unreal.
“Huge thanks to Petroleum Technology Development Fund and the Nigerian government for giving someone like me the opportunity to thrive and become the best version of myself. Words aren’t enough.
“Thanks to The University of Manchester Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and the Doctoral Academy Manchester for this honour, and big thanks to Prof Tracy Hussell and Dr Madhvi Menon for your mentorship, guidance, encouragement and friendship.”
She further said: “I dedicate this to my parents Alh Ali Shuwa and late Haj Binta Ali Shuwa (God, I hope I make them proud), my brother Iliyasu Ali Shuwa (my go-to person of all time), my husband Mukhtar Maikusurwa (your love, support, friendship and company kept me sane through all this, I love you so much.
“The entire Ali Shuwa family and all my family and friends for all the support, encouragement and prayers you’ve showered me with.”
While speaking with Vanguard, Shuwa talked about her academic journey from Nigeria to the UK.
She also disclosed that Nigerian universities cannot rival universities in the UK saying they are incomparable. She said students are the driving force of the educational system, adding that the federal government should equip the education sector.
She said: “I am Halima Ali Shuwa, an indigene of Shuwa town, Madagali local government area of Adamawa State. I was born, brought up and schooled in Maiduguri. I attended Elkanemi Primary school, then Elkanemi College of Islamic Theology for secondary school. I then studied Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science (BMLS) at the University of Maiduguri where I specialised in clinical chemistry.
“I did my one-year compulsory internship at the Federal Teaching Hospital (then Federal Medical Centre) Gombe, then served at Rasheed Shekoni Specialist Hospital Dutse, Jigawa State for my NYSC.
“I started working with Federal University Dutse as a medical lab scientist immediately after my NYSC, then got a study leave to pursue my M.Sc in Immunology at Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto.
“I was then fortunate enough to get a PTDF scholarship for a PhD in the UK in 2018 and I chose to come to the University of Manchester for my PhD in Immunology.
“The PGR means post-graduate research, so I’m the student of the year and I won the best PhD student of the year award.
“My journey started when I won a PTDF oversees scholarship award in 2018 to come to the UK for my PhD.
“The difference between Nigerian and the UK schools, a huge difference! It’s just different and incomparable. Schools here always have the best interests of students at heart. Students are the driving force for all the decisions and lecturers can actually get sacked if they have negative feedback from students.
“Nigerian government can do better with the educational system, these things are doable, they are not rocket science. With the little incentive, our lecturers will excel.”