Jamaican Chevening scholar tells us about his experience studying at USW

May 15, 2015

Edgar Bennett received the prestigious Chevening Scholarship to study MSc Forensic Audit and Accounting at the University of South Wales. Edgar graduated in 2014 and is keen to tell us why he chose USW...

“While many Chevening Scholars selected universities in London I chose the University of South Wales (USW). USW was formed in April 2013 when the University of Wales, Newport merged with the University of Glamorgan.

Wales has a population of approximately 2.8 million people, about 10.8 million sheep, many rivers and streams, picturesque hills, amicable people distinctly proud of their rugby, music, Welsh language and heritage.

My choice was influenced by the fact that USW is the only university in the world that offers the MSc Forensic Audit & Accounting Course.

Decked in my University of West Indies regalia I helped welcome The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Lord (Rowan) Williams as the new Chancellor of the University at an inauguration ceremony in 2013. The event also marked the presentation of honorary degrees to Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales; Warren Gatland, Wales National Rugby Coach; Julia Unwin CBE, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Hon. Mrs. Justice Nicola Davies DBE, Presiding Judge for Wales.

My most remarkable experiences at USW were interacting with people from various backgrounds and from across the world; both inside and outside of the classroom, shopping, going to church on a Saturday, travelling around the UK and exploring the food; especially food for vegans! My on-campus flat mates were representative of the United Nations; originating from Kenya, Brazil, Germany, France, Norway, and Mexico. My classes had a similar representation.

In my first lecture a Jamaican article was used to help illustrate the seriousness of the role of forensic auditors. In another module it was intriguing to complete a project that involved a forensic analysis of a USB thumb drive for evidence that a former employee of an organization committed fraud. In my final module I got a preview of court proceedings when I was cross-examined, in a setting akin to that of a civil trial, on a forensic audit report I prepared.

USW in collaboration with the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) provided me a two-day Leadership Experience with other USW students on the site where all officers in the British Army are trained. This inaugural event reminded me that a leader must take the most appropriate approach to leadership and leadership is based on trust. Therefore values such as integrity, courage, commitment can never be over-emphasised. More importantly, leadership is about people’s lives and helping them get things done in the most appropriate manner.

With respect to the challenge of the UK weather, Emma Gwynnett-Davies Manager, Immigration & International Student Advice at USW gave us international students this advice during International Welcome: “Leave your room”. The thought has never left me. When it rains, sometimes accompanied by lightning, thunder and hail, like a brave, I still leave my room. When the outside is cold and damp and I feel to stay in the warm bed for another hour, I still leave my room. This is meaningful advice that I have applied and will continue to apply literally and symbolically as I face the changing scenes of life as an ambassador for my home country Jamaica, Chevening, USW and my profession.”

To find out more about how you can apply for a chevening scholarship please click here