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In 2021, when UITP launched a brand-new Scholarship to five outstanding individuals, we hoped that the programme would inspire the next generation of public transport professionals.
Across the next twelve months, culminating in their virtual graduation at the 2022 UITP Annual Reception, our five impressive scholars began their studies guided under the watchful eyes of our Academy team and expert trainers.
Completing their studies across a wide range of industry topic, Mariana, Joemier, Danait, Iqbal and Utkarsh advanced their public transport knowledge – and UITP spent some quality time getting to know them along the way!
After making the decision to extend our Scholarship programme for the 2022-2023 calendar year, we were pleased to announce the four new young professionals who became our Sophomore Academy Scholars.
With numerous applicants from all corners of the globe, our jury selected four applicants from Nepal, Uganda, the Philippines and Albania.
Joyce Muriel Aguirre
Their superb motivation and passion for public transport shone through, and now we’re going to meet them!
It is due to the interest in, and success of the inaugural UITP Scholarship Programme that we made the decision to continue to offer the next generation of public transport leaders the opportunity to expand their knowledge. I am very pleased that Matilda, Amul, Joyce and Joseph are enjoying their studies so far under the expert guidance of our brilliant Academy trainers. I hope the rest of their programme continues to be as rewarding.
Beginning their studies last Autumn, our four scholars are making great progress learning new skills and developing knowledge.
Following the same approach as the inaugural programme, our Scholars will complete two compulsory core courses and two elective courses during the 2022 and 2023 programme.
Now, it’s time to continue our tradition of getting to know each of them a little bit more with our exclusive roundtable interview…
It’s over to our scholars!
Q: This is the second year of our Scholarship Programme. What drew you to apply for the scholarship? Had you heard about the success of our inaugural edition?
MATILDA: It was a coincidence that I heard about the Scholarship. The first time I heard from GIZ Albania, with which the Municipality of Tirana has a cooperation agreement on Sustainable Urban Transport. Knowing me as a person, my desires and passion for transport, but also all the needs for improving the transport sector in Albania, GIZ colleagues encouraged me to apply to this programme. On the other hand, UITP is a big international name in the transport sector. Driven by curiosity, I went to read about it. When I learned about Mr. Laurent Dauby, even though I didn’t know him personally, I really felt as if I had known him, because the way it was written on him, all the contribution he made in the transport sector, added an indescribable respect in me. I feel really honored that I was chosen.
AMUL: The factors that attracted me to apply for the scholarship were the wide range of relevant courses and the public transport experts who had excellent profiles with on-hand experience. Such a global platform, focusing on public transport with a knowledge library is so rare. I knew about the inaugural edition through a LinkedIn post where I saw participant scholars from diverse background with their presentation.
Q: Our Scholarship is all about giving new opportunities to the next generation of public transport leaders. What are your hopes for your own career moving forward?
JOYCE: I have always wanted to play a part in bettering people’s lives, and how we transfer from one place to another is a significant part of our everyday. Through this opportunity of training under UITP, I hope to be a better-equipped urban development professional whose expertise can affect positive change in society – through consultancy, academia, or working with civil society, or public organisations.
JOSEPH: I hope to use the knowledge and experience I have gained to influence and inspire positive change in public transport system not only in my city Kampala but across Africa. I hope to continue to grow in knowledge and be a lifelong student because I know with more relevant knowledge I will be able to serve my community better.
Q: How are you studies going so far? Has your study programme been what you expected it to be?
JOSEPH: The programme is amazing so far, I am really blessed to have this opportunity to learn and engage with passionate and experienced experts in an area that I am exceedingly passionate about. The lectures are engaging, the discussions are deep, and my fellow students are friendly so I couldn’t ask for more really.
MATILDA: So far I am quite happy. A golden opportunity to learn from people with experience and passion. I can honestly say that these people have a star in their eyes. You cannot work on such a sector without loving it every day, and without waking up with the idea of what can be done better in this sector, with questions how do we overcome the challenges that appear.
Q: Should the Scholarship continue with a new group of scholars next year, what would you say to other young professionals interested in applying?
JOYCE: I’d say go for it! Never be afraid to put yourselves out there, even when you hesitate about your qualifications. Part of being a public servant is having the courage to try repeatedly.
AMUL: Yes, certainly. The scholarship for these courses would be perfect for professionals of developing countries, where high quality training courses are not affordable. I would encourage other young professionals to apply for the scholarship, by thinking pragmatically how he or she could use the knowledge and experience sharing gained through these public transportation courses to their home country or city, and also visualise their role to fit in to their proposed mission.
Q: We hope that each of our scholars learns more about the public transport sector during their studies, but also develops professionally as an individual. What are your hopes for the next stages of your career?
JOYCE: I recently moved to Norway for family reasons, and I did it with the full intention to continuously progress with my urban development career. I see my exposure here as part of getting a fuller picture of various transportation/urban issues, especially coming from an environmentally-, culturally-, and societally- different country (the Philippines). I likewise wish to continue doing projects in the Philippines with my Filipino contemporaries, as it is ultimately the society I want to be a part of positive change. Training with UITP, together with different professionals from various countries, helps me in knowing the current trends which may help me in bridging the solutions to the issues within the two environments I now have influence in.
AMUL: I hope that I can apply the knowledge from UITP courses in generating better ideas or plans for public transport for the urban regions of Nepal and if possible, globally. I feel that more needs to be done in terms of research, especially in the public transport sector, as developing countries tend to blindly adopt what works in developed countries. Also, in such countries, the Government sector do not view public transportation from a multi-dimensional perspective, overlooking the social, institutional and environmental aspects. Therefore, I would focus my career on research and the government sector.
JOSEPH: Leonard Nimoy quoted “The more we share, the more we have.” In this regard, I hope to pass on the knowledge I have gained to my colleagues in the company where I work (PROME Consultants Limited). I also hope to apply the knowledge to the transport projects that we are involved in as a company. I will also continue my pursuit for knowledge by conducting and/or participating in research in sustainable transport.
MATILDA: My interest in the transport field is to develop knowledge on the systems used in this sector: electronic ticketing, AVL, real time information, public transport planning, sustainable transport, e-buses. My expectations are to grow professionally, and to give my contribution in this sector, in my country, or in other countries that may need me…
Our scholars are studying two compulsory core courses and two elective courses, all chosen alongside our UITP Academy team, and are clearly enjoying their studies so far.
UITP looks forward to helping Joyce, Amul, Matilda and Josephcontinue to develop their knowledge and advance their future careers in public transport.
Thank you to our scholars for their time and best of luck as they continue their studies!