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Sussex Nigerian Society mentees celebrate Masters success

Ejiro Okotie

Nonso Biose

From the archives of Sussex Nigerian Society (2018)

Students from the Sussex Nigerian Society (SNS) have achieved a record set of distinction marks on courses across the University of Sussex. 

15 of the 37 students who took part in the SNS mentoring scheme gained distinctions in their Masters degrees this autumn – the highest number of top grades to come out of the scheme to date.

Coordinated by the society, the scheme sees students and alumni offer tailored peer mentoring to complement the range of academic skills support provided by the University. Around 80 students have been mentored since the scheme was founded in 2018 by Tunde Alabi-Hundeyin, who is now in the final year of his PhD.

Tunde said: “We decided to create a platform to signpost our students along the unfamiliar paths of culture shock and settling in procedures, as well as an academic mentoring programme, where doctoral students or graduating Masters students offer mentorship.”

Ejiro Sharon Okotie, who completed her MA in Development Studies in 2020, commented: “It’s often challenging moving to a new environment as a blind person. The SNS provided a space that felt like home away from home. I made relationships which served as additional support structures for me. The SNS was very essential in my Sussex journey as an international student with a disability.

“The mentoring scheme exposed me to the academic expectations, as well as strategies to help me easily navigate student life. The advice on joining study reading groups, to writing effectively, all contributed to my excellent performance. Most importantly, the feedback I received from the one-on-one mentoring sessions was invaluable and reflected in my excellent grades with which I successfully made a distinction; a dream come true.”

Nonso Biose, who studied for an MSc in Information Technology with Business Management, added: “Moving into a new environment can be quite daunting, especially when you have to juggle academics and getting used to living in the UK. But with the support of a family like the Sussex Nigerian Society, it becomes easy to adapt and focus on academics. The society was crucial to my success by providing me with the bits that I required to focus on my studies and land a full-time job with Barclays Bank, which I can’t wait to start!”

Tosin Adebisi, Senior International Officer, said: “Choosing to study abroad is a significant decision and postgraduate students often struggle to adapt. It is amazing what students are doing to support each other, often unnoticed. Initiatives such as this and our Aspire mentoring are important to further close the attainment gap for international students and better equip them for post-study work via the new Graduate Route.”

Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Student Experience, Graeme Pedlingham, commended the students: “Congratulations to these students for their fantastic achievement in what was a very challenging academic year. I’m sure they will inspire other students to excel and find community while studying with us.”

The list of SNS students who achieved a distinction includes:

1. Ejiro Okotie – Institute of Development Studies 

2. Emeka Iduma - Institute of Development Studies 

3. Jennifer Uchendu - Institute of Development Studies 

4. Onyinye Nkeocha – School of Education and Social Work 

5. Jennifer Emelife - School of Education and Social Work 

6. Emmanuel Nwagboo -  Sussex Law School 

7. AnuOluwapo Kalejaye – Sussex Law School 

8. Wale Lawal⁩ - University of Sussex Business School 

9. Precious Ogbonna – School of Global Studies 

10. Ashley John – School of Media, Arts and Humanities 

11. Lekan Adegboye – School of Engineering and Informatics 

12. Nonso Biose - School of Engineering and Informatics 

13. Zarah Abdurrahman - University of Sussex Business School 

14. Tiwa Odukoya – School of Media, Arts and Humanities 

Any Schools interested in Aspire mentoring can contact Tosin Adebisi.

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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Friday, 27 November 2020

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