Loving the learning- Ricardo Braganca Student MA Educational Leadership in Practice

Ricardo Braganca is based at Nazarbayev University's Provost Office in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, where he is an Instructional Designer, spearheading the Innovative Learning Studio, and managing a team of staff.

Ricardo Braganca joined the Middle East ELiP cohort of 2021, as a self-funded student and will graduate in 2023.
He is a leader who loves to learn and brings a rich and distinctive variety of experience to the cohort, as a media practitioner and innovative educational leader with more than 10 years of international experience. He has created, launched and managed undergraduate and graduate courses for universities in Portugal, Jordan, UAE, and Kazakhstan along with responsibilities ranging from marketing, administration and coordination to lecturing. Ricardo has also implemented disruptive innovation strategies in higher education, at different institutional levels, and worked cross-department as a thought leader. He shared his views and experiences on the ELiP programme..

Why choose the Manchester MA ELiP programme?
I like learning! This is my fourth university degree. In the past I have completed the Executive MBA (Hult International Business School in Dubai); MA in Audio Production (University of Westminster in London); Licentiate in Sound and Image (Portuguese Catholic University in Porto, Portugal / 5-year degree Pre-Bologna). 

My aim is to become a well-rounded professional across several fields of specialist expertise and combine my knowledge in a unique and creative way to provide solutions and value to the community I am currently serving. To achieve my goal, I saw the need to join an outstanding university with a strong programme, which is being led by a reputable group of educators who are also active in their fields. 

Why join now?
I like to keep up to date with the latest research in educational leadership and reflect upon my own practice in order to stay relevant. I believe this degree will help me achieve my future career goals, which are connected to leading in innovative teaching and learning. I also hope to create and develop a great network of like-minded individuals. 

What were your aims when you started?
My aims were to learn more about educational leadership, create a good network of like-minded people and be able to implement what I would learn during the course in my own practice. The programme focuses strongly on theory however, I was able to apply some of this new-found theoretical knowledge in certain areas within my own practice. 

How important are your fellow students to your experience?
I believe my colleagues are extremely important because they are a diverse group of people. This means that I am exposed to a myriad of different skill sets, work approaches, experiences, and cultural backgrounds. Collaborating with them has definitely helped me grow and develop as a professional. 

What have you contributed to the shared learning experience?
I have worked in both media and higher education. I've done it in six different countries and in seven different cities across Europe, Middle East, and Central Asia. I think I have a unique background and an interesting professional track record. I believe that sharing my personal experiences and providing some insights during class discussions are contributing positively towards the shared learning experience. 

How important was the learning format?
It is hard to study and work full-time while trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I am only able to study again because of this flexible, blended learning approach delivered in a part-time format. The course conferences are essential for networking, collaborating, learning, and getting to know our colleagues and professors.  

Do teachers make good learners?
I don't think that it is possible to answer this question categorically. I would prefer to say that teachers and trainers make very demanding learners. I would certainly recommend ELiP to experienced mid-career educators, with international careers, who want to undertake research in their field and reflect upon their practice. 

How will the part-time MA ELiP impact your career? 
Based on this learning and development experience I certainly hope to be considered for interesting international leadership roles in e-Learning, training and development, and/or innovative learning.