Amal Elsamani Ahmed Taha

Student spotlight details

Part-time student, lecturer and mother, Amal enrolled on the MSc in Nanotechnology for Medicine and Health Care to specialise in the use of nanotechnology in the medical field. The flexibility of the course and the online modules allowed her to pursue the course from her home in Sudan.

'I was already finishing my first master's degree in Nanoscience and Nanoengineering in Turkey and returning to Sudan in 2017 when I decided to apply for the MSc in Nanotechnology for Medicine and Health Care to specialise in the use of nanotechnology in the medical field. I was also encouraged by the flexibility of the programme and being able to do it remotely. I was thrilled and honoured to be accepted on to the programme since I don’t know anyone in my circle who'd ever got accepted to Oxford.

'Just knowing that this programme is offered by the University of Oxford, can give you a good indication of its quality. The course instructors and professors are entirely at the top in their fields yet are very humble people. All the module topics are very well selected and most of them are cutting-edge technology. It’s been so long since I attended lectures and enjoyed them to an extent that I was smiling all the time!

'Coming from an engineering background, I was a little bit lost in some of the given lectures in the fourth module: Introduction to Bionanotechnology because I wasn’t familiar with the terminologies. However, my colleague sent me lecture presentations for an introduction to biology course she was teaching which helped me to develop a base before rereading the materials we had in the intensive week. Having classmates from different backgrounds is a blessing.

'What I love about the programme, in general, is the feedback we get after each assignment. You get to know where you lost grades and what could do to make your report better and to have it in mind in the next assignment. The Nano team is also very helpful and supportive, you can contact them anytime with any problem you have and they will assist you.

'In terms of student life, being a part-time student doesn’t make you any less than a full-time student. In my case, I couldn’t stay at Oxford for long periods but from the email invitations and letters I receive via email, I can see how rich Oxford’s student life is. Looking at the bright side of the COVID-19 pandemic, if I may say, having to do most of the activities, meetings and workshops virtually gave me that opportunity to remotely join them. I’m also one of the student representatives of my programme this year.

'Being a part-time student, a lecturer and a mother at the same time is challenging yet totally worth it. Once I finish this programme I will be looking for DPhil /Ph.D. and job opportunities in our field. Meanwhile, since nanotechnology research is very rare in Sudan, I am thinking of building low-cost nanomaterials fabrication machines, such as electrospinning machines, with the help of my students in our department. This will surely motivate the whole university members to use the fabricated nanofibers in their fields of research and, hopefully, solve some of the problems we have in Sudan.'

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