Please tell us a bit about yourself, your background etc?
I graduated from East China Normal University in 2014 and have been working in the New Oriental Education & Technology Group (Shanghai) as a Project Assistant prior to coming to University of Leeds in 2015. These two years working experience with young people is precious, and has reinforced my willingness to work in education.
What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?
Education is considered as a contested perspective in current society globally, which makes the educational activities varied in terms of quality and influence etc. The Educational Research Methods Course in Leeds University is of a high standard. This course is also provided as professional training for PhD/EdD students, which provides me with inspiration and a pre-PHD experience when I have lessons with those professionals. Thus, I chose to apply for my course in order to gain this knowledge in Leeds University.
What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?
The approaches of doing educational research really excite me. This drives me to study more and try to find the most appropriate methods to access and analyse. In the meantime realising the limitations also requiries critical thinking. Furthermore, the resources provided by lecturers are state-of-the-art, which is a great opportunity to enhance my specialty.
What do you think of your course so far – what aspects of the course have you enjoyed the most or are looking forward to the most?
I have been enjoying the modules on statistic analysing and modelling by using SPSS, which are highly practical and interesting. I was worried that it would be very difficult to understand statistics, but the teaching is very considerate and the examples offered in classes help me to learn. As data is becoming increasingly important amongst different areas today, I am interested in the more flexible modelling in the educational analysing in the coming semester.
What would you say about the learning facilities in the School and at the University in general?
It is very easy to find academic help in this university. The workshops and individual support offered by schools and university departments are really helpful for students. They know where you would need help and know how to help students with their study problems. Our school has held many learning workshops in the beginning of our study and I have attended every session, which is very helpful for my assignment. Additionally, the fortnightly reflection meetings with the programme leader have also helped me to progress.
What would you say about Leeds as a city?
Leeds is a fantastic city for students as it is neither too big nor too small. The facilities are very convenient in terms of health care, shopping or sporting etc. The cost of living here is also very reasonable compared to London. Leeds is a combination of modernity and countryside. Students have a variety of choices in this lovely city such as going for a walk or hanging out with friends. Moreover, people are very friendly in this city, which makes you feel welcome.
What do you like to do outside of studying?
I joined the street dance society at the very beginning of first semester and have found many friends who have the same hobbies. Apart from the society dancing lessons I have been going to gym twice a week. Additionally, traveling is one of my favourite hobbies outside of studying because this country has a number of attractions for everyone to explore. I have booked onto trips held by both of my school and the student union, which was very suitable for me since studying in the term time can be too busy to plan the trips. In this semester I have been doing voluntary work in a secondary school and in an educational charitable organisation, which allows me to develop my communication skills and understand more about the educational settings.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?
This course is comprehensive and interdisciplinary. It gives students a wide scope of understanding education and the ability to study different branches in education. The course is helping me with my critical study. The content of this course also helps to enhance the rigour of my own project.
What do you plan to do once you’ve finished your course?
I plan to find vacancies related to educational research associations in higher education institutions. I will also seek for the potential opportunities for doing PhD study in the future. Being a research fellow is my pursuit.