Studying Online From Australia
I was working with the UN mission in Kosovo and wanted a good online option to further my studies while I was working. I looked at many Uni courses available in the UK and Australia and found that Robert Gordon University provided the course I wanted via online delivery.
For my career development I needed to complete my Masters degree. Also I was working a lot in local government and central government within the post-conflict setting, so I wanted to learn more but also to study a course that would be relevant to me if I decided to return to work in Australia or in a regular setting.
As a virtual student I appreciated the on-line contact with the course administrator and the support of the tutor when I started to draft my dissertation. However the best part for me was spending 3 weeks in Aberdeen to complete my dissertation. The University gave me access to a room with internet, printer, help from a tutor whenever I needed it. Without that fabulous support I would never have been able to complete the dissertation. I will never forget that welcoming assistance.
I now work within the UN Department of Peace-Keeping Operations. I completed 7 years in the mission in Kosovo, 8 months on the Mission in Nepal and now I have been in the mission in Liberia for 8 months. I hope to stay here for another year before moving to another mission or joining another UN Agency such as UN Development Programme (UNDP) or UNICEF.
The MPA informed and enhanced my work in local government and has helped me appreciate the nuances of government policy making and implementation. Even though the course is focused on Scottish examples and the UK system, and I'm working in very different cultural contexts with Governments that are grappling with very weak human capacity and limited structures in countries recovering from protracted or intense conflicts, the lessons were useful. It was good that RGU accepted my dissertation topic to be focused on Decentralisation in Kosovo, because that was a bit of a stretch from the usual themes. It helped me blend the lessons learned from my study into the work experience I had in Kosovo. Now I have a MPA that is relevant to my international work and also suitable for applying for work in Australia.
Being a Virtual student suited me perfectly because I could work full-time and also study each evening, so I didn't have to make the financial sacrifice many students face. The down-side of being a virtual student based in Kosovo was the lack of access to a library and the contact with other students to discuss the topics (the virtual forum rarely worked for me because of internet limitations in Kosovo).
Robert Gordon University has a solid reputation within the UK and modern facilities. The staff are very supportive to students, and to those who studying online - so you don't have to be in Aberdeen to choose to study there.