Sandiswa Mapukata

South African Sandiswa is studying for a PhD at the LSE, focusing on the interaction between banking and urban policy in South Africa, with help from a Goodenough Scholarship

I am a young South African registered for the MPhil/PhD in Human Geography and Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE). Before starting my PhD at the LSE, I was a research associate on the Future of Work(ers) research programme at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies based at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. During my time at the Centre, I was leading a research project that focused on the future of work in banking in South Africa and Mozambique. I am hoping to that some of the key insights from this project will also feature in my PhD thesis which will focus on the interaction between banking and urban policy in South Africa. My hobbies include reading, learning new languages, singing, and dancing. I am passionate about social justice and believe that pursuing a career as a social sciences researcher is my pathway to contributing to social justice.

Doing my postgraduate studies in the UK has been a longstanding dream of mine. Receiving the South African scholarship from Goodenough College has given me the opportunity to be a part of an international community. If I hadn’t received the Scholarship, I would not have been able to stay in London. I recall that when parts of South Africa were experiencing socio-economic turmoil, I had to email the College to explain that I didn’t have sufficient funding to take on the offer to stay at Goodenough. At that moment, I had resigned myself to having yet again failed to secure enough funding in the UK (my previous three attempts were unsuccessful).

Receiving the South African scholarship provided a surreal moment where I finally could celebrate achieving a longstanding dream of mine. Furthermore, receiving the Scholarship means that I do not have to worry about getting a job to cover my living expenses during the first year of my PhD. This relief is a privilege that I do not take lightly.

Now that I am here, I am excited to play my part in making the Goodenough College experience a great one for all its Members. In addition to that, I am excited to have the opportunity to broaden my horizons and forge lifelong connections that will benefit both myself and future communities that I will be a part of. I am eternally grateful to Goodenough College for having given me the head start I needed to make a long held dream of mine a reality!