Daljeet recounts experiences of studying MSc Environment and Sustainable Development at the Development Planning Unit
I studied MSc in Environment and Sustainable development at Development Planning Unit, UCL on a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme from 2010-2011.
Prior to coming to London I did my Bachelors in Architecture, which gave me a sound foundation with respect to our built environment and after that, a Masters in environmental planning. My academic background made me realize the consequences of the present day environmental paradigms which are assuming an increasingly important role in planning and development of human settlements.
My interests in development planning and policies, which are sustainable in nature, further heightened when I entered the professional arena as an architect planner, which I practiced for more than three years in India.
I wanted to pursue a Masters from a renowned University with a course curriculum of my interest. UCL is a top ranking university with an excellent and a well versed faculty. Having heard so much about UCL’s education system, course structures, enriching lunch time lectures and their constant encouragement to venture into research, from my seniors in college and office, I applied for Masters here. I will never forget the day when I received an e-mail saying I have been awarded a full scholarship for studying at UCL.
The one year I spent in DPU, has been a very memorable experience, as each day I learnt something new, gained new perspectives to look at developmental problems and interacted persistently with my colleagues to find solutions. The opportunity to visit Ghana, was one of the biggest and most fruitful experiences of my life, and was only possible through the MSc Course in the DPU. The field trip to Ghana made me realise sustainability issues underpinning peri-urban agriculture and gave me a first-hand experience of applying interactive tools and techniques in conducting academic research.
Apart from the curriculum itself, studying with pupils from different countries and different walks of life made me learn twice as much in DPU. This opportunity given to me through my sponsors has reiterated the importance of education to me and my desire to disseminate it in my own country has become stronger.
I am fortunate to have been given this chance. The memories I gathered in DPU will stay with me forever and I will cherish the one year I spent in London and the exposure I gained by being a student in UCL, all my life. I can see myself getting closer to my dream, and I hope that one day I can give back what I have been given. At present I am working on an Environmental Management Framework for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation project in Assam, India and applying the knowledge I gained at DPU, in this project.