The Importance of Quality Education Headshot

Natasha Ashley

MSc International Business and Emerging Markets (IBEM) 2018

Senior Partnerships Coordinator, Theirworld

Born and raised in South Africa, Natasha witnessed first-hand how important education is for nation-building and economic development.

Having received several scholarships including Africa's most prestigious scholarship, the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship and the Skye Scholarship, Natasha was able to read for an MSc in International Business and Emerging Markets in the Business School.

“I have two masters degrees, one from the University of Pretoria in South Africa and my MSc at UEBS, my passion and interest for African innovative entrepreneurship and education has led me to look to roles where I can explore this and shine a positive light on the social innovations being created in Africa that are leapfrogging Western technologies.”

Natasha recently moved from working on projects at a tertiary education level, to join a global NGO, Theirworld, based in London. Theirworld is campaigning and advocating for increased global spending on children's development, piloting innovative projects in refugee camps in Lebanon and Turkey and also teaching girls in several Sub-Saharan African countries how to code and developing technical skills for the future.

“We know that 90 per cent of the brain develops before a child turns five and so it is critical that we intervene and ensure all children have access to quality education.”

Natasha values hard work, professionalism and strives to give her best to everything she does. This resulted in being presented with the Academic Excellence award at graduation in November 2018 and achieving the second highest coursework average in the history of her programme.

“I loved every moment of my time at UEBS and would do it all again - challenges included! I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I had whilst studying in Edinburgh. I'm immensely grateful to UEBS for widening and deepening my world view and expanding my horizons as a global citizen.”

The next step for Natasha is diving deep into her new role at Theirworld, striving to add value to each of the projects she is involved in. In the future she hopes people spend more time sharing their stories, mentoring others, supporting others and doing things for others without expecting anything in return.

“I hope that we all learn some lessons from other cultures and countries. I hope that we all take the time to listen more, ask more questions and practise more tolerance.”

I'm immensely grateful to the University of Edinburgh Business School for widening and deepening my world view and expanding my horizons as a global citizen.