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Women in Science

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Video clip: Marta's path to her PhD started in Poland, included learning English funded by the British Council, before getting a place at Leicester.

You said that you had the opportunity to study in the UK was that something that you wanted to do or was it just that the opportunity cropped up and you…

Again, I need to explain the background of the Polish academic career structure. I started off as a junior assistant professor, but straight after my Masters I started essentially on a teaching contract. There was a time limit of eight years within which, in order to stay on the academic career path, you need to get a PhD. But in order to get a PhD in Poland you need to have as a supervisor someone who is a full professor. As computer science was a developing subject, there weren't many of these around, so I actually wanted to study for a doctorate in Warsaw. The government introduced PhD studies and I was also given permission from my department to take leave for three years to go to Warsaw but unfortunately this was at the time when the Polish economy was beginning to suffer the course was cancelled.

But as a junior academic I had access to English courses, which were taught by the British Council and they were taught to academics at all levels from junior to senior professors. They were fairly selective and taught by some native English speakers. We were being prepared for the Cambridge First Certificate and Cambridge Proficiency exams. While I was learning English I also got a scholarship to come to an English language school. When I was here, which was actually in Oxford, I explored the opportunity to study for PhD at Oxford. I was accepted but I didn't have funding. So then I discovered this PhD funded place at Leicester, I applied for that, I got that and that's, that's how it worked out.


I think, in a sense, I needed a PhD for my academic career but also because I knew British English, it would have been the obvious place for me to come here and study. Yes.

*Text changed by participant.