Hannah Walker's experience at UEA

Hannah Walker

BA International Development with Overseas Experience


What course did you study in DEV?

I graduated this year with a BA International Development with Overseas Experience, and as the university year begins again for so many others I've started to reflect a bit on my time at UEA. As the last few months of university life are so hectic I don't think many of us students got the chance to thank all the people who made our time so significant - so on behalf of myself and all the others who didn't get round to it... I wanted to share a couple of the things I have appreciated most about the UEA DEV department.

What did you enjoy about studying at UEA?

I've enjoyed my time at UEA incredibly, and a large part of that is down to being part of DEV. I was told on my open day that DEV was a close-knit and personal department, and it proved very true! I don't think I know of any other subject in UEA where classmates knew everyone else in their classes, or formed such close friendships. There was a great solidarity where everyone, including lecturers, seemed to be happy to come to support each other's events or 'causes' (of which there were many), whether it was a charity gig, a coffee morning or an awareness event. I appreciated this a lot and I think many groups/projects were able to grow because of this initial support. I can't really pin point an exact reason why DEV seemed so close compared to other subjects, I suppose there are lots of little reasons, but it was definitely noticeable.

Any regrets or things you would do differently?

One thing in particular that I regret was not taking the time to thank the lecturers who taught us over the years. Through my second and third year in particular, I feel I've been treated to some great, mind stretching teaching which has slowly built up my capacity to 'critically analyse' just about everything... I also appreciate the public talks that DEV has always put on, which were normally very interesting and full of ideas to bring together with the things I was learning about in class. It was entertaining to watch our lecturers cross questioning speakers. 

Tell us about some of the challenges you faced

The most challenging and engaging module I took was Public Policy and Welfare, in my third year, which I was glued to from start to finish. Each week forced us to think about various 'social realities' of the development sector in a deeper way, from different angles. The module was structured well and key readings were interesting and thought provoking. I think it is fairly obvious when a lecturer is teaching the subject they are passionate about; the lecturers seemed very passionate about this module and made each topic interesting because of the energy they had whilst teaching it. Anyway. it was great.

Anything else you'd like to say?

I'm sure I'm remembering things tinged with nostalgic golden light, but regardless, I know a lot of my classmates felt similarly on many of these points and probably never got round to mentioning it either. So - thank you from all of us. DEV is doing a great job; we were very happy to be part of it. Hope you are encouraged!