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Case Study

Ola Tony-Obot

Lagos, Nigeria

BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care

MA Social Work


Choosing to continue the education she was denied growing up, Ola loved the idea of studying in a city by the sea. That's why she decided to study BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care at the University of Sunderland and continue her education with the MA Social Work. Ola now works within the Child Protection Safeguarding Team at Together for Children in Sunderland.

Studying at the University of Sunderland for me was not planned. I attended a UK universities fair in Lagos, Nigeria, and I was looking for a university that would offer me a place to study nursing. As I was talking to other universities, contemplating offers, somebody at the opposite stand asked me, "why not have a look at what we're offering?" He was representing the University of Sunderland. "Whereabouts is Sunderland?" I asked. He told me that if I was looking for a friendly city by the sea, then Sunderland was for me. Since I was looking for somewhere outside of London (which is too busy for my liking) I loved the idea of a city by the sea. So why not choose Sunderland?

I used to be a sports journalist, and I chose to come to university to continue the education I was denied as a girl growing up. The BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care opened up my knowledge of the sector and helped me to understand the construction of medicine, as well as the failures in social care. My MA Social Work entrenched my personality, whereby I could touch lives and administer positive changes on children's and family's lives.

My advice to anybody thinking of university would be, be open-minded and don’t be ruled by your unconscious bias. There is help if you seek it from lecturers and students. I am currently working as a social worker within the Child Protection Safeguarding Team with children services at Together for Children, Sunderland.

Studying at the University of Sunderland was the best time of my life and I plan to come back to the University for my PhD in a couple of years."

Published 5 December 2019

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