Samuel travelled to Murdoch on an Australia Award Scholarship to help ensure the future of grain in his home country of Ghana.
With the human population expected to reach over 8 billion people by 2030 (Source: UN), managing future food security is of vital importance.
For Ghanian student, Samuel Okang-Boye, a passion for ensuring sustainable food production for present and future generations led to studying a Master of Food Security at Murdoch University, Perth.
A recipient of the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarship, Sam joined citizens from participating countries in Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, for full-time undergraduate or postgraduate study at leading Australian institutions like Murdoch.
Part of the Australian Government's development policy, the Australia Awards Scholarship is a way of promoting prosperity, reducing poverty, and enhancing stability in Australia's global community through tertiary education.
For students like Samuel, the scholarship gives them the opportunity to gain leadership skills they can use to improve lives back home.
"I felt fulfilled with how solutions could be found in peer leadership through group assignments and projects. The Australia Awards Introductory Academic Program offered me timely research and communication tools I could use throughout my study."
Learning beyond the classroom
Murdoch's Master of Food Security is the only course of its kind in Australia. Students like Samuel have the unique opportunity to draw on Murdoch's strong research strengths in crop and pasture science and agricultural biotechnology, where we have an Excellence in Research rating of well above world standard.
"I found Murdoch to have a significant student focused approach to teaching and learning in which students were prioritized. This granted me unimpeded access to academic staff members and student services when I was in need of both academic and pastoral support."
Choosing to study at Murdoch also allowed Samuel to benefit from our strong ties to industry, and he was able to conduct a project that involved an in-depth analysis of an issue of relevance in the workplace.
"My course had direct relevance in the real workplace, so I did not struggle with excessive theoretical classroom work. At the same time, I had ample opportunity to be creative with my research project on non-chemical grain storage.
"The practical field visits during my master's degree were also an eye opener to Australia’s expertise on boarder security.
"This was not just to safeguard against human enemies but also for the prevention of the spread of pest and diseases, biological enemies, as a major tool for economic risk mitigation for agriculture and related sectors. The systems in place to achieve this were novel and impressed on me how important it was to be more innovative."
Securing grain for the future
The decision to study at Murdoch has allowed Samuel to excel in his career. Less than a year after graduating, he accepted a position at the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, focusing on developing a grain receival system in his home country of Ghana.
"An international degree created exceptional opportunities for me to stand out among my peers, largely because Murdoch allowed me to learn in a multicultural and dynamic environment.
"Whereas food security remains a top development priority especially for sub-Saharan Africa, my master's degree from a prestigious Australian university, Murdoch University, sets me up to meaningfully contribute towards addressing the challenge of food insecurity."