Friday, June 3, 2022

Two University of Nairobi students are on an exchange programme at the University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. This was enabled by a collaborative agreement that the University has with UPF.

One of the students, Selina, had this to say in an exclusive interview with Corporate Affairs.


  1. Please introduce yourself and tell us what program you enrolled in at UPF?


My name is Selina Atwani Ochukut, taking PhD in Information Systems with the  TIDE research group of Interactive and Distributed Technologies for Education


  1. How did you hear about this opportunity for international mobility?


I received the invitation to apply for mobility from the PhD Coordinator, Prof. Wagacha and Mobility Coordinator Dr. Muchemi.  The opportunity was shared through the Department of Computing and Informatics mailing list and the PhD class whatsapp group.


  1.  How has the experience at UPF impacted on your career and your perception of studies abroad?


For me being at UPF has provided me with an opportunity to travel and interact with people from different nationalities. The research group I am in has people from over 5 nationalities working on different projects. This has given me an opportunity to not only learn from the professors but also from my peers.


UPF has provided me with access to different academic databases that have helped me to shape and improve my research.


In terms of career, UPF has given me the experience of working and interacting with people in a research group, where people work together on projects in the same area. TIDE, the research group I joined, works on projects in the area of education and technology.  It has given me a deeper appreciation of research and its impact.


Before coming to Europe, I had fears of discrimination, but during my stay at UPF, I have realised that people here are welcoming, helpful and ready to interact and share knowledge.


  1. What are the highpoints of studying through a mobility program like yours?
  • I get time to concentrate on my studies without interruptions
  • Bi-weekly meetings with my UPF supervisor on my work
  • Open and easy interactions with the supervisors
  • Opportunities to create networks with people from different nationalities
  • Access to datasets
  • Easy access to help in case of any difficulties/issues experienced



  1. When you come back to Kenya what changes would like to be effected in your country and your University?
  • Stronger specialised research groups focusing on a specific research area
  • Funded PHD studentship
  • More opportunities for such programs accorded to staff who are also PHD students to give them time to concentrate on their studies
  • Have PHD projects that are a collaboration between industry and academia
  • More efficient public transport system with many modes integrated


  1. What role did the University of Nairobi play in facilitating your mobility to UPF?


  • The mobility was through the University of Nairobi, so without being in the University I might have not heard about it.
  • Sharing the opportunity with interested students, without the collaboration with UPF, this mobility will not have been possible.
  • Got recommendation from the University’s Department of Computing and Informatics for the mobility application and Visa
  • The university granted me a paid leave of absence for three months hence enabling me to travel for the mobility without worry about my family sustenance back home