Safiya Al Sharji
Phone 0114 225 6283
Until Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) gave me an unconditional offer as a research student to start my PhD in October 2010, I was educated in many different academic environments. I completed my secondary school in Burundi, one of the famous Belgian colonies, where I then took a part-time course in the French language, which eventually enabled me to obtain a diploma in Computer Science. The Ministry of Higher Education in my own country, Oman, granted me a scholarship to pursue my BSc programme at the University of Bahrain in the same field. My employer, the Ministry of Manpower in my country, further secured my academic life by funding my MSc programme at the University of Hertfordshire, in England.
Now that my time at Sheffield Hallam University is coming to a close, I have the opportunity to reflect on my experience as a research student. SHU has equipped me with a repertoire of new skills and instilled a confidence and maturity that has inspired me to work even harder to reach higher academic standards, to contribute more to my community, and to strive to take an initiative to generate and compile a great deal of information for my research topic to cover a broader scope.
The process of choosing where to study for a PhD is not an easy task for overseas students, but the professionalism of both SHU academic and administrative staff made it easy for me. I realised what my options were throughout the supervision I have been receiving. Not only has this given me the freedom to make decisions for my research, but also the confidence as I proceed in my studies. My supervisors tirelessly encouraged me to present my work at a doctoral consortium. Subsequent publications provided me with an insight into a wider academic sphere.
I love the dynamic research culture of SHU, with its open-door approach to seminars and conferences. I regularly take advantage of them, sometimes attending them twice or even thrice, solely to refresh what I have learnt from them. I can confidently mention that I have received the right kind of experience which I need both for my postdoctoral research projects and for my career as an academic.
AL SHARJI, Safiya, BEER, Martin and URUCHURTU, Elizabeth (2013). Enhancing the degree of personalization through Vector Space Model and Profile Ontology. In: THUY, Nguyen Thanh, OGAWA, Mizuhito, HO, Tu Bao,PIURI, Vincenzo and TRAN, Xuan-Tu, (eds.) Computing and Communication Technologies, Research, Innovation, and Vision for the Future (RIVF), 2013 IEEE RIVF International Conference on. IEEE Xplore, 248-252.