International Students

Student profiles


Student Profile

About me

Name: Siddiqua
Course: Mathematics PhD
PhD Title: Algorithmic structure of Higman's coset diagram techniques.
Study mode: Full time
Where I'm from:Pakistan

Choosing Newcastle

"My MPhil work was in group theory (Mathieu Groups using graphical techniques) so I wanted to work more in the same field. Unfortunately, my country (Pakistan) is lacking experts in this field, so I applied for all of the universities with relevant expertise. Now I want to use specific computational techniques in the field. For this I need some good journals, libraries and environment. Unfortunately, in my country we have limited resources for this.

"My Supervisor Prof Sarah Rees is one of the experts and eminent mathematicians and has tremendous knowledge in computational group theory. I feel lucky that I was selected as a PhD student under her kind supervision at Newcastle University, a top ranking university in the UK."

Studying at Newcastle

"Newcastle University provides me with the chance to upgrade my professional skills through workshops as well as my research interests. This includes presenting posters, and developing project management by attending ‘how to plan your PhD’ sessions. ‘Women in Academia’ is one of the sessions that I attended in March 2014. The purpose of this workshop was to enable women to consider and plan the next stages of their career and identify successful strategies for their development. I found it worthwhile.

"I enjoy the opportunity to attend these workshops as it encourages me to interact with other researchers, keeping me updated with the research being conducted in my field. Moreover, I like that I also have the opportunity to attend conferences and seminars that are funded by the University, for this I would really recommend others to do their PhD at Newcastle.

"At undergraduate level I had much more pressure relating to course work, however, now I am freely engaged in my research without having the pressure of exams. Besides this I am able to interact with other postgraduate students and I enjoy the friendly postgraduate environment that Newcastle has to offer."

Postgraduate Community

"The School of Maths and Stats has a postgraduate forum, where students can present their current research.

"I am also an active member of the Self Assessment Team of Athena Swan, which organises “Networking Opportunities Lunch” for female academic staff and postgraduate students, where we discuss career progression of women employed in STEM. We were awarded a Bronze Award for our work with Athena Swan in 2009."

Funding my studies

"I am extremely thankful to the Shlumberger Foundation (Faculty for the Future) fellowship, which is a prestigious scholarship for women. I was awarded this scholarship in 2013 and it has allowed me to progress onto a PhD programme. I am obliged to this foundation for the financial support as it has allowed me to pursue my studies at an international university where I can develop my professional skills whilst enhancing my knowledge. The foundation is based in the Netherlands and supports 63 countries. You can apply for the award online."

Career aspirations

"I want to be in a teaching profession which involves women in science, research and teaching. I would like to set up a “Female Mathematics Society” which would be a source of encouragement for young women researchers in the sciences. It would be a platform where women mathematicians can share their ideas. I want to play a role for such developments in my country after finishing my PhD and open the gates for women to join hands for betterment. Newcastle has helped towards this through initiating “women in academia” workshops, which have provided me with the confidence to go back to Pakistan to set up this platform."


"I live in Barker House which is a Newcastle University Student Home. It is a 15 minute walk from the department. I find it very comfortable and convenient and the facilities are excellent. The Newcastle University Accommodation Team are very active to accommodate student requests to find the place of their choice."

Living in Newcastle

"There are many sightseeing opportunities in Newcastle; the Quayside is one of my favourite places to visit. There are also many wonderful places near to Newcastle including Alnwick castle, Durham and York which are all amazing. It is refreshing to visit such beautiful places in and around the city."

Remembering Newcastle

"I really enjoy my supervisor's guidelines and encouragement. I am learning a lot from her not just academically, but also in developing my personal ethics."