Nardos Engeda

LLM (Masters in Law), Brookes Alumni Fund scholar

Thanks to a scholarship from the Brookes Alumni Fund, Nardos studied at Brookes for an LLM (Master's in Law) in 2014-15, majoring in International Human Rights Law.  We caught up with her while she was still studying here.

She is inspiring to talk to, and is full of wonder and delight that her life dream is actually becoming a reality, "I knew I was meant to do the Master's. It motivated me to be the person I am meant to be and pursue my goal."

Nardos had to leave Ethiopia at the age of eight after her mother had fled the country two years before.  Her mother, a journalist, had challenged the regime, but managed to escape to Kenya.  Her colleagues are still in prison 17 years later.

While in Kenya human rights lawyers worked with the family to find them somewhere safe to live, which turned out to be the UK. 

Nardos was so fascinated and inspired by them that it has been her ambition to be a human rights lawyer since the age of 9 years old.  She had to study in a new language in Kenya for four years, and then moved schooling levels again when they moved to the UK.  She has had to make up two years of schooling after hours, and still managed to get her A levels and degree.

In Nardos’s own words, “At the age of eight I used to observe the Human Rights lawyers doing their best to protect and fight for people like my mother. During an interview with them, their passion and determination, their very presence in a room inspired me and at the age of nine I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.

"Following their effort under the UN, my family and I had the privilege of settling in England in 2007. Having moved so much as a child, this was finally home. I could now settle and pursue my aspiration.

"Since then I have worked twice as hard in school and college to catch up and get to the level everyone else was at, in order to secure a career in International Human Rights Law. The work hasn't been easy but being at the position I am in now, on the LLM course at Brookes, in Oxford makes every struggle worth enduring.”

Nardos described how she was on the verge of turning down her place here because of not having the money to make initial payments before her loans came through, when she got the email about the Brookes Alumni Fund Scholarship.  She had to read it three times before it sank in!  Without it she would not have been able to study here.

"I was in no position to afford anything towards the course and I was on the verge of giving up when I got an email from Brookes to say that I had got the Brookes Alumni Fund Scholarship.  It was the exact amount I needed for the deposit. This changed everything."