A Durham alumna, Flic Burgess, has created a crowdfunding page in an attempt to raise £65,000 to study at Harvard University.
She is hoping to raise the money to fund her studies with help from the Durham community.
Ms Burgess graduated from Durham University in 2015 and has since been working as a French teacher through the Teach First graduate scheme.
Speaking in a press release, Ms Burgess said: “My mum is a teaching assistant and my dad fixes cars – they have always instilled in me a firm belief in the power of education. I love my work with Teach First. It’s like no other graduate scheme out there.”
“My work with Teach First is tough, but you get to make a big difference to the lives of young people. Now because of my work in education, Harvard has offered me a place to study International Education policy.”
While at Harvard Ms Burgess will be studying the latest developments within cognitive science to help her understand how children learn, as well as supporting curriculum development on a global scale.
She will also explore current issues teachers and students are facing globally, such as access to education within refugee camps, improving education for girls, and how to deliver effective HIV education in developing countries.
Ms Burgess stated: “If we want a world where no child’s education success is limited by their background then we have to invest in leaders in education. A Harvard education will enhance my skills and knowledge to place me at the centre of this ambitious agenda.
“This course at Harvard is highly competitive and the best in the world. […] I need your help so that I can take up my place and dramatically accelerate my work to tackle educational disadvantage.”
“If we want a world where no child’s educational success is limited by their background, then we have to invest in leaders in education.”
In 2015, UNESCO declared a global learning crisis due to 387 million children globally being unable to read or do basic maths, which conflicted with fundamental human rights treaties.
In order to attend Harvard University and qualify for a VISA, it is required for all students to prove they have sufficient funds to pay for their education.
This final figure (£65,000) includes the cost of attendance as well as the cost of return airfare for international students.
Ms Burgess believes there to be “very little funding for Masters levels qualifications, especially for international students.”
“Most funding in the US is made available for PhD students studying for a 6 year doctorate.”
As a result, Burgess has turned to crowdfunding to cover her expenses. She has stated that all funds raised in excess of the target will contribute to a foundation created by Burgess, named after Burgess’ late grandfather, to support students from the Isle of Sheppey.
Ms Burgess concluded her press statement by stating: “I’ve shown I can have an impact locally, now I need help to kickstart the impact I can have globally. If you are interested in education then I hope my Crowdfund campaign will resonate with you.”
If you would like to support Flic Burgess, you can visit her Crowdfunding page at: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/SheppeyToHarvard
Photograph by Ted Eytan via Flickr