Posthumous doctorate for student in international education
Members of the Centre for International Education (CIE) will today (Friday 20 July) honour the life and work of research student Luke Akaguri, who has died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack at home in Ghana.
Luke’s cousin and fellow CIE researcher Kutum Comfort Madah will receive Luke’s doctoral award on behalf of Luke’s family at this morning’s graduation ceremony at the Brighton Dome.
Luke’s funeral will take place the next day (21 July) in Ghana, where friend and fellow CIE researcher Dr Eric Ananga will read a commemorative message on behalf of the CIE, which is part of the School of Education and Social Work.
Hardworking, affable and passionately committed to his studies, Luke enrolled on the Sussex DPhil programme in 2008.
His research, for which he was awarded his doctorate, focused on the role of low-fee private schooling for the poor in Ghana, under the supervision of Dr Kwame Akyeampong and Professor Keith Lewin.
Dr Máiréad Dunne, Director of the Centre for International Education, says: “Luke’s work was already adding to the body of knowledge in a key area of international education research and his involvement with the University will remain an outstanding symbol of the long and positive links between the University of Sussex and the University of Education at Winneba, Ghana."
Professor Lewin, Director of the Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (CREATE), praised Luke’s contributions to the CREATE research in Ghana which were central to its progress and success.
Dr Kwame Akyeampong, Luke’s doctoral supervisor in CIE, says: “When Luke left us for Ghana in October 2011 we were full of hope for his future, so the news of his death came as a complete shock.
“He was a young man with so much to give to education in Ghana and had already made his family truly proud.
“He is a great loss not only to his family and friends, but to the University of Education, Winneba and to Ghana – a country he loved. He will be missed by many.”
Luke’s colleagues at Sussex have launched a commemorative fund to support his wife and three young children in Ghana.
I met Luke sometimes in 2009 here at Sussex. He was such an amazing fellow with a wonderful family. It is shocking to learn of his demise today. You might have left us but we are consoled by the fact that you left an indellible footprints bold enough to remind us of your substance and a research work that is an evergreen legacy for generations to come. Adieu Luke!
Very sad to hear of Luke's passing, he was a really nice man. Condolences to his family.
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