Kheder is original from Khartoum, capital of Sudan. It has been two
weeks since her country has also been locked up by pandemic but she is
confined in Santander, studying the Master's Degree in Particle Physics
and Cosmos (UC-UIMP). She is one of the beneficiaries of 'Learn Africa' scholarship, promoted by Women for Africa Foundation and financed by the Institute of Physics of Cantabria as well as Vice-Rector's Office for Internationalisation and Cooperation of Universidad de Cantabria.
found out about this scholarship program through a Facebook
advertisement and she states that applying was so easy she filled in the
form using her mobile phone. After finishing her degree in General
Physics in 2014 and studying a Master's Degree, she thought it would be
interesting to have the opportunity of a Master's Degree in Particle
Physics and Cosmos in order to deepen her high energy studies.
is one of the beneficiaries of the 'Learn Africa' scholarship program
in which Universidad de Cantabria participates together with 36 other
national universities, as well as Moroccan and Portuguese universities.
The general aim of this initiative is to promote the transfer of
knowledge of African university students and researchers so that, once
they have completed their training, they can become the leaders of
progress in their own societies.
Roaa explains, at first she found it difficult to deal with all
paperwork and visa, since this is her first time out of Sudan. She
arrived in Spain in October last year to study a full nine-month course
in Santander. Now classes are over and she is focused on her research
project, which will be completed in June. Unfortunately, given these
circumstances, she will not be able this time to know other cities in
"Studying in Sudan is very different from studying here,"
says Roaa. Sudan's unstable economic and political situation means
education is not as good as it should be, and in many cases they lack
the basics. "I benefit a lot from studying in Spain and it is a positive experience for me", she
acknowledges, clarifying that when she gets back to Khartoum, she will
try to look for possibilities to continue her scientific career with a
PhD. There are no research centers in Sudan and her options there are
limited to teaching at university.
Women for Africa Foundation
'Learn Africa' is a Women for Africa Foundation
initiative to provide scholarships to African students and researchers
at Spanish universities. This program is articulated through
collaboration agreements signed with Spanish universities that host
young beneficiaries. These scholarships cover registration, travel,
medical insurance and accommodation costs and their terms depend on
programs offered by each university.
for Africa (MxA) scholarship program was launched in 2013 to ease
access to postgraduate studies at Spanish universities for African
students, encouraging exchange of experiences among students and
promoting better mutual understanding. Since the beginning of the
program, 99 African women have benefited from a scholarship.
Women for Africa Foundation has had several collaborations with
Universidad de Cantabria, but Roaa has been the first student for
Master's studies. This has been possible, among other things, due to the
interest, effort and collaboration of Vice-Rector's Office of Internationalisation and Cooperation of Universidad de Cantabria (personified
in the Vice-Rector, Teresa Susinos) and the Institute of Physics of
Cantabria (in particular of its previous director, Professor Teresa
Rodrigo, recently passed away).