Gaoxiang Liao studied MA Global Development and Education

Gaoxiang Liao

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am from southeast China and have completed my bachelors degree and masters degree in Science of Management in China while working as a teacher in China's higher education institutions and the hope project for disabled people for two years. My interest in international development education policy began in college when I was elected president of the student union. I had the opportunity to work with school administrators on higher education policy research, during which I participated in the Challenge Cup National Curriculum Science and Technology competition and put two educational programmes for children in poor areas in to practice. Then I joined the Red Cross Society of China Program to volunteer for children with disabilities. So I've always had this ideal of helping disadvantaged people get equal access to education.

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

Global Development and Education is an ideal programme for me, because it closely aligns with my future career goals and academic aspirations. My master dissertation in China was on educational cooperation between China and Africa. I found POLIS (the School of Politics and International Studies) at University of Leeds was diversified, making me very interested in the flexible curriculum. This will enable me to better understand education policy research contributions to society, and create new ideas for the optimisation of education policy. My aim is to put the advanced knowledge and theory that I will acquire in the programme into practice, adopting a pluralistic theoretical perspective to solve practical problems. In addition, this will help me better complete my masters research in China, and lay a solid foundation for my future doctoral research career. Based on my passion for the education industry, I believed this programme is the next step in my career.

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

When I was elected president of the student union, I was given the opportunity to conduct higher education policy research with teachers from the school administration. The goal of this research was to solve many issues that require urgent attention pertaining to the full compass of Chinese teenagers' education in traditional culture. We hoped to gradually stimulate the emotional resonance of young students through relevant research, working towards cultivating their strong interest in traditional cultural industries and their thirst for exploration, with the ultimate aim of serving society. Since then, I have started to pay close attention to the interrelationship between educational policies and the corresponding elements of the social environment. I gradually realised that infinite possibilities are presented by the coordination of stakeholders in society.

What do you think of your course so far?

One of the most exciting aspects of this course is that you can use a variety of electives to assist you in achieving your goals. In terms of curriculum, in addition to the required courses that form the basis of a degree thesis, there are many interesting and challenging topics related to political economy, gender, regional development, etc. The instructors of each course are happy to provide a wide range of content, including but not limited to seminar, report, assignment, and presentation. I'm sure POLIS will develop more and more interesting optional courses in the future.

What would you say about the learning facilities at the University of Leeds?

The school's four main libraries are the most exciting of the school's facilities, providing not only an abundance of available academic resources, but also specialized soft skills training to help us master more scientific methods of learning. In addition, LUU, mental counseling center, and The Edge provide physical and psychological care for our learning and life, ensuring the rights and interests of students.

How do you find the student support from the School?

For students in need of support, it's easy to contact your school for feedback, and staff are happy to provide support in one form or another. You can go to the POLIS reception at almost any time during working hours or you can contact the them by email. In addition, LUU Support Center is also a good choice through online contact, the student staff can often provide students from the perspective of learning and life support.

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?

Personally, LUU and The Edge are the perfect after school lifestyle choices. LUU has hundreds of societies with different styles and subjects, such as sports, music, dance, and even many unexpected and interesting clubs, such as Quidditch. With World-class Gym environment and staff, and a reasonable membership price for student members, The Edge is an ideal place to exercise and relax.

What do you think about Leeds as a city?

Leeds is a vibrant city with a great location in the middle of England, which means many places from Leeds are easy to travel from. And with its shopping streets, shopping malls and convenient transportation, Leeds offers a satisfying life for students who come to University of Leeds.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

If you are interested in international development and are thinking about how to contribute to the world's inequality, you are welcome to take this course. Professional school staff and international student composition can bring you new inspiration for international development and education.

Any other comment you would like to make?

The most touching thing about studying at University of Leeds is that I met many friendly, professional and responsible teachers, who gave me a lot of help in my study and life, always making me feel cared for and expected, this makes me feel that learning is not just a knowledge gain, but one of the best experiences in life.