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Thursday, 18 June 2020

Outstanding student awarded prestigious scholarship

ACHIEVER: Chioma Obasi ACHIEVER: Chioma Obasi

An outstanding student from the Department of Architectural Technology and Interior Design has been awarded a prestigious scholarship in Belgium.

Chioma Obasi has been awarded a Master Mind scholarship to study towards a one-year International Master in Interior Architecture (Adaptive Re-use) at Hasselt University also known as UHasselt.

She is currently an exchange student at the same university.

The government of Flanders awards these scholarships to outstanding students to study towards a master’s degree at a tertiary institution in the region.

Chioma, who is originally from Nigeria and moved to South Africa when she was about five-years-old, said she was ecstatic when she heard that she had been selected.

“I have always loved design. I loved the idea of being able to create things. However, I didn't just want to create, I also wanted to do something meaningful, something of value. I was inspired by my surroundings. The infrastructure and urban landscape weren't so great but there was potential. I wanted to fix things, I wanted to give people a better standard of living, I wanted to explore how architecture could be used to improve lives.”

She was selected as an exchange student to UHasselt in March last year, based on her academic record and a motivational essay. While in Belgium she applied for the master’s course before Hasselt University put her forward as a candidate for the scholarship.

Dr Els Hannes, international coordinator at Hasselt University, said Chioma’s application was put forward to the Flemish government, and the reviewers, scored her 90 out of 100.

“We are extremely happy and proud that Chioma is offered a chance to study at UHasselt for another year, and we believe that she will be a real asset to the programme.” said Els.

Dr Rudolf Perold, a senior lecturer in the Department of Architectural Technology and Interior Design and international liaison for the CPUT-UHasselt project, said Chioma is the third student from the department to be awarded this prestigious scholarship.

“We are very proud that Chioma scored the highest of all the applicants from UHasselt and am excited to see the work that she will be producing. Chioma has represented our department well during her exchange at UHasselt, and we wish her the best in her new endeavour as a CPUT alumnus and a fully-fledged student of UHasselt.”

CPUT and UHasselt have been engaging in student exchanges funded by the Erasmus+, Transitions, Participatory Country and Master Mind programmes since 2013.

“Since 2013, we have collaborated on a number of funding calls for exchanges, with great success: 15 outgoing students to Hasselt, 10 incoming students from UHasselt, six outgoing staff to Hasselt (one week), and eight incoming staff from UHasselt (one week),” said Perold.

Two staff members in the department have also completed postgraduate degrees at UHasselt: Perold completed a PhD and Niven Naidoo a Master in Interior Architecture, with a third staff member Maretha Dreyer about to commence doctoral studies at UHasselt.

He said the department had been supported by Carol Wilson from the Office of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships.

Written by Ilse Fredericks


Provides coverage for the Health and Wellness Sciences and Informatics and Design Faculties.