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"Teaching that inspires me"

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"Teaching that inspires me"

At Newcastle University, lecturers aim to equip students to be the leaders and problem-solvers of tomorrow.

We’ve spoken to three students at our campuses in London, Malaysia and Singapore about their experiences.

A collage featuring Maria Eugenia Carbajales, Burhanuddin Asyraaff Mahmood and YiChao Ma.

Maria Eugenia Carbajales, International Marketing, Newcastle University London

Maria completed a BA in Communications and Film Studies in Uruguay. She then began work as a marketing assistant for three years. Realising that marketing was a career that she would enjoy, she decided to do a Master’s in the subject.

“I chose Newcastle because I wanted to study in a different language and was looking for an experience in the UK,” she explains. “I looked at many universities, but I just really liked Newcastle. I felt the course was more than marketing. It had many different aspects, such as international business and communications.

“I liked the fact that the course was called International Marketing and was internationally focused. The people who work here are very open and they teach you very well, and the students taking the course had international backgrounds. I really enjoyed talking to people from different parts of the world.

“Among my favourite modules were International Communications Management and Principles of Marketing. They were areas that I wanted to know more about. The lecturers were really good at explaining the subject and they catered for everyone. Including people like me, who needed the basics, compared to people that I knew with more experience.

“I also really enjoy the London experience. I came as a tourist many years ago and the city fascinated me. Mainly because of the diversity, all the different things you could do, the mixture of old and new, and the innovation.”

The people who work here are very open and they teach you very well, and the students taking the course had international backgrounds.

Maria Eugenia Carbajales

Burhanuddin Asyraaff Mahmood, Medicine, Newcastle University Malaysia

Burhan is a Final-year medical at Newcastle University’s Malaysia campus. Not only has he enjoyed his studies, but he is also a former president of the student association.

He is happy that his experience has been enhanced by his Malaysian lecturers. As well as those who have come from across the globe.

“I would split the teaching in terms of pre-clinical and clinical lecturing. In pre-clinicals we don’t just cram up on every single bit of information and spew it out in exams. We learn about a case and look at it from different angles.

That’s been really helpful for my progress. The lecturers have made it all the easier because they are fun to be around. They’re like friends.

“The clinical lectures are even more in-depth because you get a real understanding of the diseases via the bedside teaching in hospital - as Sir William Osler once put it.

They help us to see the more practical aspects; not just the symptoms but how you manage them, as well as the humane side of medicine. And because we have different lecturers, not only from the UK and Malaysia but also from other countries, we get to see comparisons between different healthcare practices.”

Burhan has also been inspired by activities outside of his studies. He has been instrumental in promoting collaborations between Newcastle students around the world. At campuses in Malaysia, UK, and Singapore.

This has included starting the Newcastle International: Changemakers of Tomorrow competition. Through which students try to find solutions to the issues highlighted by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

And because we have different lecturers, not only from the UK and Malaysia but also from other countries, we get to see comparisons between different healthcare practices.

Burhanuddin Asyraaff Mahmood

YiChao Ma, PhD in Engineering, Newcastle University Singapore

Engineer YiChao was sponsored by his company to do a PhD at our Singapore campus.

For his thesis, he looked closely at the relationship between vibration and acoustics. It was a challenging course as he divided his time between work, family and study.

He also suffered a bout of ill health. But the result has been a change in the way he approaches problems.

“Before I took the PhD I thought I was a very successful engineer,” he explains. “But now I solve problems systematically rather than following a handbook.

"Before I just followed regulations to solve a problem. But now I think about the problem, then the solution, how to plan the solution and how to do it systematically. That’s what the PhD has taught me.

“In industry people usually solve a problem using a handbook, software or other tools. But my supervisor on the course taught me different ways of thinking and to share the problem, publish the solution and exchange ideas. It has helped me become more successful in industry.

“Today I think of a problem and how I can use a new idea to solve it, instead of just following what other engineers have done.

"It may take some time but the outcome of this is more meaningful, especially when you are working in the research and development department.”

Today I think of a problem and how I can use a new idea to solve it, instead of just following what other engineers have done.

YiChao Ma