Anas Fattal, currently studying for a PhD in Marketing in Higher Education at Leeds, is from Damascus, Syria. Anas has proved to be a valuable ambassador for Leeds University during his studies and recently acted as a guide and interpreter for Professor Roger Halson, Head of the School of Law. They spent several days in Damascus attending meetings with the Deputy Minister for Higher Education, the President, Head of International Relations, Head of the Business School and Dean of the Faculty of Law of Damascus University as well the Co-ordinator of the EU Funded TEMPUS project in the Ministry of Education.
He explains here why he chose to study at Leeds:
“I originally came to Leeds in September 2005 to study MA International Education Management because I wanted to improve my career prospects. Before coming to Leeds I worked for 3 years in Damascus as a Human Resources Manager and TESOL teacher at a private language centre: Asia Language Institute, and had been there since graduating from Damascus University with a bachelors degree in English Literature and Linguistics but I knew I could improve my career if I went to study for a masters degree overseas. I never expected to do a PhD but while I was doing my masters degree at Leeds I was told about a scholarship in the School of Education I could apply for and I was very happy when I found out that I had been successful. Now I receive full tuition fees and £5000 scholarship per year and also work part-time in the library in the School of Education."
"I chose Leeds because it is a University with an excellent international reputation but also because staff in the School of Education were so helpful during my application process; they even arranged for me to speak to a current international student in the School so I could find out about the course, the modules and what it was like to be a student at Leeds which really helped to answer all my questions. Now I am really enjoying studying here and living in the city of Leeds. I have visited friends at other universities but I think the way that Leeds has a university campus so close to the city centre is really unique and one of the things that makes it so convenient."
"I would definitely recommend Leeds to other students because it has exceeded all my expectations; before I came to the UK I had an idea of what life might be like here but I have found that Leeds is very international and everyone is very friendly no matter where you are from. There is a good understanding of other cultures and faiths and people often ask me questions about Syria because they are interested in other countries and different ways of life. I have also found that my tutors in the School of Education have a lot of international experience and this means there is an international dimension to their teaching and they can communicate well with students from all over the world."
"When I return home after my PhD I am not sure what exact job I will do but I know that my study at Leeds will be useful whatever I decide to do in my career.”