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Homepage / My experience of receiving the commonwealth shared scholarship

My experience of receiving the commonwealth shared scholarship


Jackson Makanga next to an RB211 Turbo fan

My name is Jackson Makanga, a Commonwealth Shared Scholar from Uganda and I am currently studying the Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc at Cranfield. I am passionate about industrial materials and how they are processed. I graduated from Makerere University in 2013 and joined Luwero Industries where I was working as a production engineer.

When I applied for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme in April last year, I didn’t know if I would get it. I had been applying for a scholarship for postgraduate study for three years and all had been unsuccessful but I didn’t give up! After applying for several years and not being fruitful, I predicted it would be the usual story when I received an email from the commonwealth scholarship commission. I remember reading the email about three times and checking the sender address to make sure it was official. The excitement was too much for me to contain! I remember straightaway informing my work colleague who I was seated with at the time. I immediately accepted the offer to study at the best university, Cranfield University. When I informed my family they were over the moon. Everything happened so fast after I accepted the offer. I feel I didn’t have time to get fully excited and dream about my time at Cranfield and the UK as a whole because before I knew I needed to apply for ATAS, accommodation, visa, medical checks and forms.

When I received the paperwork for my scholarship offer, I finally believed the dream was real. Getting a Commonwealth Scholarship, more so at Cranfield University, was my accomplishment of the year. I started seeing my dreams and vision coming true through this scholarship. I knew then that I was going to make a difference in my country, family and community.

On the 21st of September, my family held a farewell dinner to congratulate me on this enormous opportunity and bid me farewell. I prepared myself for my journey to Cranfield.

On 25 of September, I arrived in the UK. I was warmly received by Cranfield University straight from the airport as they had arranged transport to collect me and other colleagues from Heathrow Airport. Cranfield University was even more impressive than I had imagined. As we arrived, it was unimaginable that a University could have an airport, let alone a hotel and a living environment for students.

As I strolled through the University on the following day heading for registration I was given a very warm welcome by the registering staff and received a full detailed orientation. The University gave the students a tour to the nearby towns to get familiar with them and know where supplies can be found. Cranfield is an multicultural University with students from different countries and continents. Even though I was so far from home, Cranfield became my home. The friendliness and beauty of the University made me feel so welcome.

By the end of my first week at Cranfield, I felt more honoured for having achieved this opportunity. The Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc is action packed and so far I have already learnt how planning, designing and analysing are all essential in mechanical engineering. My safety awareness in engineering works has already greatly improved through the module of Risk and Reliability.

This is a once in the lifetime opportunity and studying in the UK has given me a different perception of life and a chance to achieve my dream.

Click here for more information on Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc.

Jackson Makanga

Written By: Cranfield University

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  1. Emmanuel Oluka 11/11/2019 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Thank you my brother Jackson. This is so inspiring, and I believe I shall join you soon.

  2. Ekene Obi 07/04/2020 at 2:29 am - Reply

    I’m happy reading your story and I’m truly inspired and motivated. By God’s grace, I’ll be in this same position in the near future

  3. Dan MUKWAYA 20/03/2021 at 6:42 am - Reply

    So encouraging seeing your ob, friend, village mate going high. Wish you the best of all Jackson.

    It has been a long journey to that so far achieved. Keep winning, keep shining

  4. Edwin 30/04/2021 at 6:36 am - Reply

    Congratulations on your success, I am so happy to hear this, its so encouraging and motivating.
    Thank you for sharing your experience. I am hoping to achieve this scholarship too, can’t wait to gain the wonderful opportunity, Thanks Again

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