Diana Wilson is an experienced educator and a member of the first Middle East cohort of students on the part-time MA Educational Leadership in Practice programme – an experience that has surpassed all her expectations.
Diana is going to graduate in 2022 and is determined to take her career to the next level.
“I selected The University of Manchester's MA Educational Leadership in Practice (MA ELiP) programme because of the strong platform it offers to listen and enjoy, experience and learn directly from the University faculty, anywhere in the world. I have met very few leaders in my career with specific knowledge in leadership and so I was delighted to see that educators in positions of responsibility can make teaching and learning a more positive experience and create better workplaces for the people involved in this profession. The MA ELiP provides specific knowledge, which I believe leaders will find essential in making a positive change in education.
Teachers certainly make good learners; they are happy to work towards positive change. I have been in the field of education for nearly two decades now. I started my career quite early and have continued to work without any gaps or breaks. This programme of study (MA ELiP) with Manchester is also one that I self-funded.
My experience includes roles in teaching and leadership in the UAE. In Dubai in 2020, I decided to take my professional development to the next level and towards leadership in education. I was familiar with some of Dr. Alexander Gardner Mc-Taggart's research on international schools as at that time I was reading his work for my final project at another university in Dubai. The invitation to attend the ELiP information session caught my eye. I attended the session and was immensely impressed by the people and reputation of the University and the MA ELiP course that was due to start in September 2020 with its first cohort in Dubai.
For me personally, the biggest questions I had about school leadership and leadership in general have been answered during the programme. It has provided me with a more reflective and thorough outlook in understanding the factors impeding progress and how to deal with issues that may have remained unresolved and ignored.
The Manchester part-time MA ELiP is certainly not an academic programme that you follow in isolation. During my studies, I had the opportunity to meet my fellow students and the faculty from Manchester during live lectures and webinars, and face-to-face conferences in Dubai, which made my learning experience splendid. These meetings were engaging and generated discussions around common concerns, including global issues that affect education and how we as educators can affect the planet and its future citizens. Each semester's course conference spanned a range of topics that had a connection with the wider course content.
Together as a cohort, we have learned from each other's experiences and contributed to making the best of our professional and personal knowledge. Everything about the programme was well-organised and the team from the university was always available to respond to any queries, academic or non-academic.
With this international higher qualification, I am going to face the world wherever I am destined to lead, open mindedly, with upright moral values of equity, and levying a viewpoint that privileges social justice."