Ambassador Hailemichael visits Ethiopian students at Manchester University

19 Nov 2018

On 14th November, Ambassador Hailemichael and the Embassy’s Head of Diaspora Affairs, Mr Fekadu Beyene, visited the University of Manchester where they were welcomed by the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, and the International Office team.

(l-r) Head of Diaspora Affairs, Fekadu Beyene, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Ambassador Hailemichael and Joanne Jacobs, Senior International Officer

The main purpose of the visit was to explore the many links the University and Ethiopia share, and discuss future opportunities.

The Ambassador met the very first batch of students from Ethiopia to be awarded the university’s Equity and Merit Scholarship, which also supports young professionals from Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania as they pursue a master’s degree at the University. This year, the scheme was extended to include students from Ethiopia who study courses such as engineering, renewable energy, environmental governance and international development.

The Ambassador met with five scholars including:

  • International Fashion Marketing student, Binyam Andargie
  • International Development students, Aida Bayissa and Ruth Bezu
  • Environmental Governance student, Brook Makonnen
  • Communications and Signal Processing student, Yacob Tsegaye

They discussed their time in Manchester, what they hope to gain from their studies there, and how they plan to use their new skills to help transform Ethiopia.

During the visit, the Ambassador also met and held discussions with the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell.

A lively discussion ensued on current issues relating to Ethiopia, with academics, researchers and students from the University’s Global Development Institute. Ambassador Hailemichael briefed them on the major developments in Ethiopia and the current reforms under PM Abiy, answering questions raised.

During the visit, the Ambassador also met the University’s Chancellor Lemn Sissay MBE, who has Ethiopian heritage. In his role as Chancellor, he has been supportive of a number of new initiatives for under-represented groups including Equity and Merit Scholarships and a new scholarship for black male law students.

The delegation also briefly visited the historic John Rylands Library where they viewed some rare Ethiopian manuscripts, hosted by John Hodgson, Head of Special Collections.

The visit was concluded by a timely visit to the Pankhurst Centre – home of Emmeline Pankhurst – where the Suffragette movement began.

Ethiopia shares a long history with the Pankhursts. Emmeline’s daughter, Sylvia Pankhurst, and grandson Richard Pankhurst were devoted patriots and supporters of Ethiopia, where they are both buried. Her great-grandchildren Helen Pankhurst and Alula Pankhurst maintain their ties to Ethiopia.

The visit to the centre was an opportune moment for Pankhurst Centre CEO Gail Heath to congratulate Ethiopia on the recent historic appointment of women to powerful posts including: the first female president, the first female Supreme Court President and a gender-balanced Cabinet.

Video: Ethiopian Students begin Scholarships at Manchester University

Ethiopian Students begin Scholarships at Manchester University

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