Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the University of Manchester siteSearch Menu StaffNet
Search type

Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme

06 May 2015

Futsumbirhan Weldeab tells his real life story behind our scheme to help talented students overcome barriers

Futsumbirhan Weldeab

The University’s Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme has helped students to overcome a variety of barriers to master's study. In this StaffNet series, we see some of the real life stories behind the scheme – illustrating perfectly just why we do this.

As a refugee in the UK with no family and no relatives here, Futsumburhan Weldeab faced many barriers to accessing higher education – but his drive to succeed, and the help of our Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme, have enabled him to progress to master’s level study.

He sees himself as a role model to others from disadvantaged backgrounds, and as proof that everything is possible.

Having graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from the University of Sheffield, and with indefinite leave to remain in the UK, Futsum is studying for an MSc Actuarial Science as a route into the actuarial profession.

He explains: “I want to be an actuary. My BSc may be enough to start with. But I decided to do the master’s in actuarial science to get an understanding of the profession and get valuable skills that will help me to pass the actuarial profession exams.

“But, as we all know, pursuing a master’s degree is a big financial commitment. After I finished my bachelor’s, my first plan was to look for work to save a bit of money. My second plan was to look for scholarship.”

“The requirement for the Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme exactly fits to my background. I applied and I became successful. When I secured the scholarship, all my worries were gone.”

Even so, Futsum works 16 hours every weekend to cover his daily expenses, despite the heavy workload of an intense master's degree.

“I’m glad that I’m still working. The money I make over the weekend is helping me for my daily expenses. But having said this, it is not easy to work considering the load of the master’s course, as it is extremely intense,” he notes.

“A master’s degree is worth doing. It is an opportunity to study the field you are interested in deeply. I think it gives an internal satisfaction as well. Personally speaking, I feel that I have achieved something more in life than before.

“I’m from a lower-class family. I’m the only one to go to university from my family and had a great desire to educate myself up to master’s level.

“A lot of people see a poor background as a drawback. I always argue with this and show them everything is possible as long as the passion, enthusiasm and dedication is there.”