Tackling Educational Issues: Edward’s Story with GREAT Scholarships

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Edward Salim Buwono, S.M. in front of The University of Manchester
Edward Salim Buwono, S.M. in front of The University of Manchester

From personal interest to a big impact on education

Education has been a really interesting topic for Edward, especially on Educational Leadership. As a Bachelor in Finance and Banking, Edward’s passion for education began from the moment he joined many organizational activities in community encouragement and leadership during his bachelor study.

Further, his interest even grew more after he took a Diploma in Montessori Education by Sunshine Teachers Training and School Improvement and Leadership certification in Harvard Business online. Driven by his future goal to improve and tackle educational issues in Indonesia, Edward understood the importance of the ability to think critically on evaluating various policies and events related to education.

That further brought him to take an MA in Educational Leadership at the University of Manchester, one of the universities that facilitate Educational Leadership in the UK. The lecturer, teaching staff, and curriculum also convinced Edward that the MA in Educational Leadership at the University of Manchester is the best master’s program for him to achieve his long-term goal.

Edward during internship at Sinarmas World Academy (left), internship at Sophos Montessori School BSD (right).  Source: Personal documentation

What is inside of MA Educational Leadership at the University of Manchester?

In MA Educational Leadership at the University of Manchester, Edward learns many subjects that focus on developing policy and educational systems, such as School improvement, Internationalizing the Curriculum, Education Policy, Early Childhood Education, and Contemporary Issues in Education.

Continuing master’s study at the University of Manchester surely has broadened his perspective in education, for example, the issue of gender and diversity, which in Indonesia may not be the subject of much debate.

Enriching study atmosphere in the University of Manchester

Edward took a picture in one of his class sessions.  Source: Personal documentation

The learning process at the university really engages all the students in the classroom. Students are really welcome to express their perspectives on the discussed topic actively. Consisting of students from various countries and backgrounds, this learning atmosphere enriches Edward’s perspective, as different countries have different educational issues and systems. The topics that are discussed in the class are also varied in many countries, which becomes an excellent opportunity to improve critical analysis.

Besides discussion in the class, this study also consists of many assignments that are mostly writing. However, there is also a practical project regarding Internationalizing the Curriculum, in which it asks the students to make a curriculum plan within a certain period at a school. 

Many internal and external factors, especially in upholding equity and diversity in the school environment as it is essential in various schools in the UK, have to be deeply analyzed in this project. Indeed, this master’s study has built a firm critical mindset for solving a problem in the educational sector, which gets more complex in this era of disruptive change.

Montessori Diploma by Sunshine Teachers Training.  Source: personal documentation

Focus on Educational Leadership

Edward is currently focused on working on educational leadership. Education continues to be under pressure to be able to adapt to various external requirements, especially with various policies such as standardization, teaching systems, and many other things. Through this study, Edward was given many different perspectives on the existing

Edward is currently focused on the educational leadership aspects. This is because education continues to be under pressure to adapt to various external requirements, especially with various policies such as standardization, teaching systems, and many other things. 

Through this study, Edward was given many different perspectives on the existing education system in different countries and tried to evaluate them more critically. Because of many factors, sometimes a system is not always good and thriving in a particular country. At the same time, other countries can apply that system easily. 

In his last semester, Edward is completing his master’s thesis that focuses on the gender diversity in preschool teachers, which is motivated by the fact that preschool-level school is more dominated by female teachers. Edward will further critically analyze whether this issue and phenomena correlate with social justice or not.

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Pursue a higher degree with GREAT Scholarships by The British Council. Source: The British Council

GREAT Scholarships: from applying to expanding networking

Edward’s journey to get this scholarship began when the GREAT Scholarships cooperated with the University of Manchester. Luckily, at that moment, every registrant of the University of Manchester was automatically reviewed by the GREAT Scholarships committee as well. 

Yet, all submitted documents, namely CV, personal statement, IELTS, academic transcript, and recommendation letters, must be ensured to have good enough qualifications to “attract” the scholarship providers.

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Edward took part in Young Leaders for Indonesia Wave 11 (left) and Nutrifood Leadership Award 2017 (right).  Source: personal documentation

As a GREAT Scholarships by the British Council scholar, Edward has greatly expanded his networking. The GREAT Scholarships by the British Council facilitate various events, such as welcoming events, webinar sessions, and networking events. 

Surely, these events bring together scholars from all over the world so that it provides an opportunity for them to be able to expand their connections with people who may have the same interests. Further, soon in May 2022, there will be an offline event held for all GREAT Scholarships awardees to meet and discuss.

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Edward on Oriental Formal Ball with the Association of British and Chinese University students and other societies (Filipino, Malaysian, Indonesian, Singaporean, and Taiwanese). Source: Personal documentation

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This article was written by Ivone Marselina Nugraha, Columnist IM Europe & UK, and is the result of an interview with Edward Salim Buwono, S.M. with a profile:

Edward Salim Buwono, S.M. is a MA in Educational Leadership at The University of Manchester student. Graduated in 2019, he is a B.E in Finance and Banking, Universitas Prasetiya Mulya. He also holds a Diploma in Montessori Education from Sunshine Teachers Training. Prior to his master’s study, he worked as Merchandising Manager for two years at blibli.com, Curriculum Director for Preschool Department (My Little Island School Malang), and Head Department for Mighty Roo Malang.

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