Sirly Castro Tuirán
MSc Global Urban Development and Planning
Why did you choose to study at The University of Manchester?
I am from Colombia (South America). I chose to study at The University of Manchester because it is an University with a recognised prestige which provide an outstanding opportunity to study and work with renowned professors whom, doubtlessly, boost the student's knowledge and his/her impact as a policymaker.
Why did you choose your particular course?
The MSc Global Urban Development and Planning drew my attention for the interdisciplinary approach and research tools offered the focus on global south urban development issues makes the programme unique because the importance to analyse key urban issues according to context.
Has your qualification helped you in your career?
Yes, it has help me. The master's degree expanded my view on analysing particular contexts to design strategies adapted to them and working with communities in all the process. Particularly, we are working on Territorial Road Safety Observatories, trying to strengthen the capacities of local governments.
Where then any specific modules or lecturers who particularly inspired you?
There are two teachers who inspired me during my master's degree. Nicola Banks, who was my dissertations’ supervisor and tutor in the course "Critical issues in urban inequality" and Alfredo Stein. Alfredo was my tutor in "Urban Development Planning in Cities of the South" and "Best practice case studies in urban development planning in cities in the South". It was precisely during a seminar of Urban development planning course that inspired me to choose my dissertation topic.
Was your degree funded by a scholarship or donor?
Yes, my degree was funded by a scholarship from the Colombia Government. It was very significance on my decision to continue studying because the scholarship also covered my family expenses in Manchester. I moved to Manchester to study with my two children and my husband.
What is your best memory from your time at Manchester?
The part that I most enjoyed studying at the University was its high academic level combined with teachers with an excellent academic and professional background. As well as sharing with people from different parts of the world, with whom we have in common the same urban issues and challenges to solve them.
Do you have any tips or advice for current or prospective students?
My advice is to take advantage of all the academic opportunities offered by the university, access to international statistical databases and papers. Additionally, from the beginning of the master look for topics to focus on the dissertation, so that it can be developed throughout the academic year.