A woman from Bromley has launched an appeal for the public to help her to complete her PhD in Psychology as she campaigns “higher education should be a right”.

Ramisa Maliat Ahmed, 24, has decided to write her own project about the use of non-invasive brain stimulation on social perception for her PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London.

This means she must find the money for the new project herself – as opposed to choosing a project which has already been funded.

Mal has explained how “horrendously competitive” getting funding is, especially after she wasn’t awarded any from University partner the Economic and Social Research Council.

She has also tried to work as a full-time teaching assistant alongside her studies but was forced to quit due to the time it was impeding on her research progression.

Mal, from Bromley, told the News Shopper: “Doctoral loans for a PhD are massively different to typical funding.

“It’s not only a loan, it adds to the debt I’m already in just for wanting to study.

"It's so low and forces individuals to work alongside the full-time job of being a PhD researcher.

“Covid has also had a huge impact on why I had to work as hard as I was as my family needed the stable income I got from being a teaching assistant.

“I am a firm believer that education should be a right and higher education should not be limited to those who can simply afford it.

News Shopper:

“No one should be forced into debt for education they have proven to be good enough for and no one should be forced not to be able to pursue their academic dreams just because they aren’t made of money.”

Mal, who is a Bengali Muslim, also explained that she wasn’t in the eligible ethnic bracket or project topic criteria to apply for other available funding at her university.

She said: “The struggle isn’t fun and shouldn’t be glamourised.

“At the end of the day, the research PhD students like myself do are to better the world around us.

“Me being able to complete my PhD is more than just another individual becoming a doctor – it’s important for our aims as a society to improve representation over the board.

“For me, to be making strong moves in academia shows young people from any of the intersections I cross that they can make it in areas where we don’t seem to thrive.”

When asked why people should donate, Mal said it will not only help her but also the future generation.

She added: “Simply put, helping me will help the future generation too.

“If I don’t raise the money, I don’t see myself as having a choice.

“I will continue my degree until I can’t anymore.

“I am now starting my second year and it would break me to give up now.

“I’m not someone who will break easily but I am hoping that finishing this degree doesn’t leave me broken.”

Mal has so far raised £900 out of her £4,500 goal.

To donate to Mal’s studies, click here.

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