PhD student’s monumental year
Expectant father Samuel Ujewe gets married, secures research job and completes his doctorate studies within space of a year
Achieving one lifetime ambition in a year might be enough for most people, but not for University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) PhD student Samuel Ujewe.
Not only has the 33-year-old received his doctorate with very minute corrections, but he has secured a research job, got married, and found out he is expecting his first child all in the space of 12 months.
Despite his monumental year and a very high profile external examiner, the only corrections in Samuel’s thesis, titled “Just Healthcare in Nigeria: The foundation for an African ethical framework”, were a handful of small typing errors.
Originally from Nigeria, Samuel will now take up a research post at the University of Pretoria, in South Africa, and is keen to stress the pivotal role of his UCLan supervisor Professor Doris Schroeder in his success.
"My supervisor came very highly recommended to me by another professor at Oxford University and I wasn’t disappointed. Professor Schroeder was excellent and the best supervisor I could have asked for."
He said: “My supervisor came very highly recommended to me by another professor at Oxford University and I wasn’t disappointed. Professor Schroeder was excellent and the best supervisor I could have asked for. She was instrumental to me and her help went far beyond what is expected.
“I also had wonderful colleagues within the UCLan School of Health who supported me, and we all helped each other along the way.”
Although it has been a year of highs, Samuel’s PhD journey was not without its struggles.
“The biggest challenge was the financial difficulties I faced in covering my tuition, which costs £9,950 a year,” Samuel explains. “I had to budget very carefully and I worked part-time alongside my studies which meant I couldn’t enjoy some of the regular things students do.
“However, I have been very lucky. I was awarded a generous scholarship from UCLan which went a long way towards covering my tuition and I received at least £1,000 a year from an anonymous benefactor, which has made such a difference. I really appreciate that and the scholarship from UCLan; the two things together have helped me very much and I’m so grateful.”
"Ethical frameworks is a growing field in Africa and internationally. It’s something I hope to establish and eventually influence policy – that’s my grand aspiration."
In his second year of study, Samuel met Osanudiamen, known as Osa, a master's student studying at the University of Dundee. “We got married as soon as I’d handed in my thesis,” Samuel says.
The couple later received the happy news that Osa is pregnant and the young family will move to South Africa for Samuel to take up his new role, where he hopes to advance the research he carried out during his PhD.
Samuel added: “Ethical frameworks is a growing field in Africa and internationally. It’s something I hope to establish and eventually influence policy – that’s my grand aspiration.
“I’m happy to graduate and can’t wait to show all my friends and family photos of me in my gown!”
Samuel was one of nearly 4,000 students who graduated in front of family and friends at Preston’s Guild Hall last week.