On Friday 11th September 2015, PfAL staff welcomed 23 keen, enthusiastic African students to the London School of Economics and Political Science. Most had only just arrived in London the day before, but the entire group looked ready to take on the challenges of the coming year.

In January we opened the called for applications for the 2015/16 intake and in two months received over 400 applications from applicants across sub-Saharan Africa.  The three-phase application process was rigourous: not only were candidates evaluated on their academic marks and references, they also submitted short essays and a personal statement.  The 400+ applicants were whittled down as applicants progressed through each phase, and in September, 23 successful scholars packed their bags and came to London.

The scholars hail from Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Liberia, Ghana, and Namibia and will study on a variety of taught masters programmes:

  • MSc African Development
  • MSc Development Management
  • MSc Development Studies
  • MSc Environment and Development
  • MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies
  • MSc Population and Development
  • MSc Political Economy of Late Development

Now into their first week of the 2015/16 academic year, the students have already shown initiative to get involved in campus activities, from submitting articles for the widely read Africa at LSE blog to being part of the LSE Africa Summit Team.

Florence Naluyimba (Uganda) reflected: “My first two weeks at LSE have been revealing. I’ve already been incorporated into London’s education system at the best university and the theoretical approach they take gives you a clearer vision of how anything can be run from an academic angle while you’re in the field.  I’ve been to taster course lectures and I’ve been able to understand why my country is stuck in the LDC category. I am very grateful for my PfAL scholarship and I plan to learn as much as I can from LSE and PfAL.”