PhD helps graduate start new career overseas

23 July 2019

Mature student split time between Preston and United Arab Emirates

An international student is preparing to start her new career after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) with a PhD.

Dr Manal Small split her time between Preston and the United Arab Emirates during her studies for the PhD which focused on the effect diabetes has on the heart.

Manal had previously achieved a degree in nursing at the Fatima College of Health Sciences at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). She’s now preparing to return to the college to start a new role as an instructor to teach nursing in August. 

"I’m very happy and proud to graduate from UCLan, it’s been a long journey but worth all the hard work."

It had always been a goal of the 28-year-old’s to complete a PhD, but it wasn’t until she met UCLan Professor Jaipaul Singh while at UAUE that she decided to study in the UK, relocating to Preston and dividing her time between the two countries.

As part of her studies, Manal was given several opportunities to travel around the world, including two months spent in the US as part of an experimental research project, and visiting India for a conference. Her work also resulted in 12 papers being published.

Manal said: “I first came to Preston during the winter, and I immediately noticed the difference in the weather as it’s very hot where I’m from! During my time here I’ve found it to be a lovely city, and a nice place to study.

“I’m very happy and proud to graduate from UCLan, it’s been a long journey but worth all the hard work. I’ve been given some great opportunities and my tutors including Professor Jaipaul have been very supportive. Doing the PhD has allowed me to meet lots of people and find out more about advanced studies and techniques in my field, which is all extremely valuable experience that I can take into my new role.

“I’d like to thank my parents for their support, and to also say thank you to both Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, whom Fatima College is named in honour of, and her son His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, for creating opportunities for people and particularly women in the UAE.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Fatima College to start my new role and hopefully will be able to inspire the students I teach to pursue their goals and ambitions just as I have done.”

Manal is one of 3,500 students who graduated in front of family and friends on the University’s Preston Campus this week.