UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Spotlight on Patricia Naya, Prosperity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship MSc student

29 March 2021

Meet Patricia Naya, Prosperity Innovation and Entrepreneurship student and recipient of the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. Read about her experience at the IGP and how the scholarship has helped her

headshot of Patricia Naya

Why did you choose to study at the Institute for Global Prosperity and what were you doing before you joined us?

IGP fieldwork research on social matters across the world, including Kenya, inspired me. The skills and knowledge I require to advance my dream of becoming an academic and impacting society positively through my NGO, 'Realizing Dreams Foundation' that aims to eradicate teenage pregnancy, child marriage, and purpose inspiration to young girls to dream big were embedded in the department vision.

Can you tell us about your experience around the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme and how it has helped you?

In a world where funding for development programmes are dwindling across the world, it is an honour and privilege in being entirely funded to pursue an MSc at a prestigious UK university. Something my family would not have been able to accomplish. The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship has given me the opportunity to reach my full potential.

What do you enjoy most about studying with the IGP?

The level of support given to students at the IGP is best to none. I particularly love the approach my course takes, such as pushing students to be innovative in addressing pressing global challenges. Attention and counselling resources are given to students from academics, career-wise, and others, especially through the personal tutorial scheme.

Are there any topics or areas that you find particularly interesting?

Honestly, everything about the course is exciting. Still, I will go for the following: advancing reading seminars, skills and development seminars, for various reasons, including the opportunity to further engage with concepts discussed in summative assessment modules in a non-academic manner.

What does prosperity mean to you?

From my life experience, two significant pictures would never disappear. 1. A community (my) with zero interest in female education. And 2. My mother was exploited for doing a menial job for lacking formal education to gain a skill. Both pictures have led to my view of prosperity as an equal opportunity to access quality education for both girls and boys, robust institutions that protect informal sector workers from exploitation.

What are your plans for after graduation?

Currently, I have a PhD offer from the University of Massachusetts, Boston starting in September. Additionally, I plan to apply the knowledge and skills acquired so far in our organization, 'Realizing Dreams Foundation', to expand our coverage and impact.

What advice would you give to new IGP students and to those thinking of applying?

Welcome to a home of diverse and innovative student culture where you will have the freedom and confidence to question theories, view things differently, and test your ideas' feasibility to address the most pressing problems of our time.

Who is influential to you and why?

Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang is the most influential person to me. She is the first woman to hold the Vice-Chancellor's position in Ghana-the University of Cape Coast (UCC). The first woman to be selected as a Running Mate for a major political party in Ghana. Growing up in a country where women's potentials are limited, it is inspirational to have people like her break the cycle.