Mark's student experience

Mark from Ghana talks about his life at Edinburgh Napier University.

Mark Arthur, MSc Safety & Environmental Engineering

“Our environment is a passion for me”

I was interested in doing something in safety and environmental management because I had previously done some environmental related projects and wanted to further delve into the area. Our environment is a passion for me. Anything related to it is critical and I want to be involved in protecting it and making the world a better place.

My dissertation is on electronic waste management. In developed countries, what often happens is they struggle to deal with electronic waste like computers, laptops and printers. The infrastructure required to manage such waste is very expensive and instead of managing it, they prefer to dump it in developing countries, especially Ghana.

There, they have little resources to manage it and it causes a lot of health and environmental problems. For example, it contains poisonous chemical materials like lead. There are international regulations such as the Barcelona Convention that ban that sort of activity but, for some reason, it still happens. I think the waste management module at Edinburgh Napier University was practical because you learn what is happening here and you know what is happening in Ghana and you are able to draw comparisons. In Africa, we also have plastic waste which is very disturbing to the environment so it was enlightening to learn about the practices here in Europe compared to how we go about managing it back home.

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“Lecturers at Edinburgh Napier are experienced and they teach you how the industry really works”

Waste management is critical everywhere, as is occupational health and safety, and I can use the skills I’ve learnt here back in Ghana. The lecturers at Edinburgh Napier are experienced and they actually teach you what’s going on in the industry. They are also very friendly. I’ve made use of every support that the School has to offer. Even if a lecturer doesn’t teach me directly, I still feel I can go to their office and speak to them about anything related to my studies. I’ve also used some of the academic support services – especially in my early days here. For my first coursework, I just wanted to know how things were done here compared to where I come from so I went to discuss it and they were very helpful. 

“I would describe Edinburgh as a very beautiful city”

Before I came here, I didn’t know much about Edinburgh, I didn’t know much about Scotland. Having been here eight months now I would describe Edinburgh as a very beautiful city. It’s very clean and the people here are friendly. It’s also a very compact city but it’s quite exciting with a lot of tourists.

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