"Living and studying in Edinburgh has been one of the best moments in my life. The country is so beautiful with welcoming people. I lived in a private accommodation and my Scottish neighbours were super friendly, they treated me like family."
International student, Beatrice Asare, describes her experiences studying her master’s in healthcare management at Edinburgh Napier University
Before moving to Scotland to study her postgraduate degree, Beatrice worked as a Hospital Administrator in a private hospital and studied her bachelor’s in human resource management.
What encourage you to study at postgraduate level?
I always wanted to continue with my studies to the postgraduate level. As a working mother, combining work, motherhood and studying full-time was going to be very demanding for me. I decided to wait until my daughters were a bit older before taking this big step. What encouraged me the most to pursue a post graduate degree was the idea that I could choose a study area I was passionate about and one that will help me in my future career path.
Why did you choose to study here at Edinburgh Napier?
I chose to study at Edinburgh Napier University after doing a lot of reading and research on which university to study at, in the UK. There were several options, but my focus was to find a country that accepts cultural diversity, and a university which offers a programme that will help in the progression of my existing role. I realised Scotland does not only offer top-notch education but also one of the most welcoming places to live and study. It also has fascinating, unique culture and traditions. After going through the programmes, most of the universities in Scotland were offering places in healthcare at the postgraduate level. I found Edinburgh Napier to be the best option for me, the course overview, assessments and course details had everything I was looking for as a healthcare administrator.
How did you hear about the course?
I discovered it on the school’s website and read reviews from The Times Higher Education website about the school.
What are your favourite parts about the course and are there any highlights?
My favourite part of the programme was studying different modules which gave me the opportunity to integrate critical thinking into writing. Doing modules like Clinical Governance was a real eye opener for me. The module helped me, as a healthcare administrator, to understand how important it is for healthcare professionals to strive to improve quality of care. The module taught me how to apply practical tools and techniques to improve my managerial performance in delivery of care. I also enjoyed the Leadership Module; I was able to identify different leadership approaches and evaluate their advantages and disadvantages to help improve my leadership skills. I also had the opportunity to critique myself as a leader in my reflective essay, the feedback from my colleagues at work was jaw-dropping. I realised there was a need for improvement in my leadership style and conflict management skills.
My highlights from studying at Edinburgh Napier include spending time on a modern campus with fantastic facilities. Having friendly and supportive lecturers who were always available to assist with academic challenges that I faced as an international student. The library was well stocked with good academic books and materials and it was always opened for long hours with amazing staff who were ready to assist. I also had the opportunity to meet course mates from different parts of the world who practice different healthcare professions. As the class representative of my course, I had the opportunity to be part of ENSA (Edinburgh Napier Student Association) meetings. I represented my class by presenting their views and opinions during meetings. I also enjoyed sharing ideas during group discussions and going out for tea or meals during our leisure time.
Were there any challenges you faced?
There were many challenges along this journey, but the two most critical ones were being able to cope with the academic pressure and fitting in - since I had been out of school for quite some time. The last challenge was working independently on my course work and project. Back at home I was used to group work and presentations. Adopting to working entirely on my own in terms of research was a stimulating intellectual challenge for me.
How did you find the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate courses?
The transition from undergraduate to postgraduate was not so drastic. It was a continuity of my previous studies because I had modules in Human Resource Management which was an advanced study of what I did during my undergraduate degree. The only difference was the high pace of the course with regards to the coursework, exams and projects that was to be completed.
Can you sum up your student experience living in Edinburgh?
Living and studying in Edinburgh has been one of the best moments in my life. The country is so beautiful with stunning landscapes and welcoming people. I lived in a private accommodation and my Scottish neighbours were super friendly, they treated me like family. As a student, transportation to school was a major concern since I lived a bit far from campus but to my surprise there were always buses. Edinburgh has a good transportation system, so it was always easy to get to school on time.
I also had the opportunity to work as a support worker during my studies. I was trained to provide emotional and practical support to people with learning difficulties. This was a great experience for me, the best aspect of this is being able to help people and having a positive influence on their lives.
I witnessed the Edinburgh festival last year which is one of the most famous festivals in the world. It was unbelievable to see thousands of tourists coming to the city in the month of August. There were a lot of shows and performances; including theatre, music, dance, stand-up comedy, and magic, to mention but a few.
Coming from a very warm country, I never got used to the Scottish weather. My first month in Edinburgh was so difficult since I came in January, I had to get heavy jackets to cover up. The weather was so cold and unpredictable, but I got used to it.
I must say, I have no regrets coming to study and live in Edinburgh. It has been the best experience so far, that I will forever cherish.
Would you recommend the course, if so why?
Definitely. I would recommend this course because it gives managers and professionals in healthcare the opportunity to work effectively within a complex and evolving environment.
It offers an opportunity to add substantive experience to practice and at the end of the programme one has an in-depth understanding of a research project in their area of professional interest. The course is very flexible, be it full-time or part-time, for healthcare professionals.
What did advice would you give to anyone considering this course?
My advice to anyone considering doing Msc Healthcare Management is that they should do a lot of research before applying. I would also advise that students should be certain that this course will give them an advantage and prepare them for their future career path.
I must say, the future is very bright for me as a hospital administrator! Going back to my profession, I feel more confident that I have discovered my strengths, and this will be translated to professional standards at work. I am also sure that there will always be a huge demand for my skills and experience in my profession.
What support did you find available to you from ENU as an International Student?
The university had a lot of general support available for me as an international student, which included: Visa and International support, Program Orientation, Academic writing skills, Edinburgh Napier Student Association (ENSA), and Counselling and Guidance.