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‘Online learning has allowed me to network around the world’ – how studying online allowed one student to gain a truly global perspective

‘Online learning has allowed me to network around the world’ – how studying online allowed one student to gain a truly global perspective

Our online Corruption and Governance MA encourages students to engage in rich debates with other professionals studying on the course and to meet globally renowned academics who are experts in their field, building a global network.  

We caught up with Michelle Kawa, one of our online students who is working at the Mexico Research Center for Peace, and she highlighted how the course is helping her achieve exactly that: “a network of peers and professors from around the world”. Here’s what she had to share about her experience studying so far: 

Why did you choose to study online with the University of Sussex?  

This option allowed me to continue with my professional life in Mexico, and with my academic preparation. I chose the University of Sussex because it had the course that interested me the most, a flexible mode of learning, and it provided me with a Student Success Advisor who would accompany me throughout my studies. 

Why did you choose to study Corruption & Governance MA (online)? 

I come from a country where there are high levels of corruption, so it is an issue that has always interested me. I chose this course because I thought I had a lot to learn from the Centre for the Study of Corruption and because it approaches the subject from an interdisciplinary perspective that focuses on three fundamental questions: what is corruption, what causes it, and what should be done to combat it?

What’s been your favourite module so far and what made it so engaging? 

My favourite module so far has been the first module “Defining corruption” taught by Professor Dan Hough. It tries to define what corruption is, explains why there are different definitions of corruption, its relative merits are evaluated, and its failures are criticized, all through practical case studies. I think it is a very important module since it gave me a solid initial framework that would later help me in the following modules.  

What I liked the most about the module was the final assessment, in which I was able to choose a case study and, based on the definitions of corruption, be able to assess whether or not the case could be considered corruption. 

How have you found online learning?  

I have enjoyed learning online as it has given me different study tools outside of a conventional classroom, such as discussion boards, interactive lectures, readings, podcasts, and videos. Online learning has allowed me to network with peers and professors from around the world – embracing different views, different stories, and different opinions. 

How do you manage your study time around other personal and professional commitments? 

The master’s degree is part-time, so it gives you the perfect time to have a professional and personal life and at the same time be able to fulfill the tasks from the study course. I think it is a matter of having a good organisation to be able to plan the study hours, and above all to keep in mind the assignment deadlines.  

How has this course impacted your career and/or personal development so far? 

The course has given me a lot of tools to be a better student and to develop critical thinking and understanding. It has helped me to better define my interests and goals for the future once I finish the master’s degree. 

What advice would you give to anyone considering this online course? 

Online courses are a great option to continue your studies if you cannot or do not want to take the course with a face-to-face modality. My recommendation is to have a real commitment to the course to get the most out of it, and above all to try to be as organised as possible so that you can get everything done on time. 


If you would like to learn more about the online Masters that Michelle studied with us, please visit the Corruption and Governance MA (online) course page.