28 Nov, 2019

The young female lecturer training the next generation of leaders

Aishwarya Tiku, 24, is an inspiring young female leader from Zambia. Aishwarya is currently a Lecturer in undergraduate Business Studies at the London School of Commerce, a PhD student, and a volunteer for the Global Knowledge Exchange Network in Ethiopia.

Aishwarya Tiku

Knowledge is power, but how much more powerful is educating others with your knowledge? It is so important to share knowledge and information with each other in today’s world, in order to grow and improve as a community.

Aside from primary and secondary education, being able to have a higher education degree is a privilege in many countries. This should not be the case. There are many ways in which we can improve the education systems in countries around the world, especially in Africa.

Having been born and raised in Zambia, I was extremely grateful to receive not one but two tertiary education degrees from international institutions (an undergraduate degree from the University of Sussex and a Masters from Warwick Business School). I believe in the power of academics and researchers connecting globally to share knowledge and improve education. In order to make this happen, we must upskill teachers and professors to deliver what the students need.  

I’m currently studying a PhD in London, researching the compassion between Higher Education in Zambia and the UK.  My PhD supervisor founded an NGO called the Global Knowledge Exchange Network (GKEN) which creates awareness and improves the quality of education in Ethiopia and its neighbouring countries. GKEN partners with academic bodies to share resources and provide a platform for academic professionals, practitioners and researchers to collaborate with each other,  and mentor and teach students in Ethiopian universities.

I am currently a GKEN mentor and will soon become a lead supervisor for PhD students in Jimma University in Ethiopia, ensuring the post-graduate students receive consistent feedback and keep improving. Our focus is on equipping students to start thinking about how they will contribute and give back to the communities that raised them and strive to receive an education. We keep in contact with students after they have graduated to track the changes they are making in society.

I have often said that it is easy to expand the minds of young people during primary and secondary education; what is more difficult is ensuring higher education students have the right training to become the future of tomorrow. In Higher Education it’s all about the chain of command; everyone from students to professors must be trained and upskilled to ensure the improvement of quality of education and teaching practices across African countries, from the bottom-up.


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