Nguyen Tran Phuoc Thinh was awarded the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM 2023–24. She is currently studying for an MSc Computer Science at Middlesex University.

Why did you choose to pursue your studies in a STEM subject in the UK?

Studying for a postgraduate degree in the UK appeals to me because of the quality and style of its university education. I appreciate the balance between advanced theory and practical experience, as well as the strong focus on contemporary research that UK universities offer.

As someone who wants to work in industry, I found the one-year postgraduate programme in the UK very attractive. It exposes me to a diverse, international learning environment, and challenges me to develop self-learning ability, which is essential these days.

Please share with us about your study programme in the UK, what do you like most about this programme, or scholarship scheme, or your UK institution? 

The scholarship has given me the opportunity to experience more than I ever dreamt of. It's provided me with a range of supports – from financial to emotional support from the university. My academic journey in the UK is not just about the things I learnt from my course; people at the university have also acted as mentors and guides on my journey.


In addition, I have been exposed to many activities that empower women in STEM in the UK, which have greatly inspired me. The university course has met my expectations for its compactness and practicality, so I can have plenty of time to do my own research, join tech talks and workshops (which I didn't normally have the chance to do in Viet Nam, but London is a technology hub), and, of course, explore the UK.

What are your plans after finishing your studies in the UK?

One of my goals is to leverage the knowledge and experience that I've gained from studying in the UK for my work. I've learnt a lot from the course, the mentors, and the activities that I've participated in. I also plan to continue working on some of the projects that I've been inspired by during my time in the UK. These projects are related to my interests and aspirations in Computer Science and STEM.


Moreover, I am part of a community that supports women in tech, and I would love to share my story and help other girls achieve their dreams. I want to encourage them to pursue their passion and overcome any challenges that they may face. I believe that women in STEM can make a positive difference in the world.

What advice would you give to Vietnamese students who wish to apply for the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM 2024–25? 

One of the quotes that I have been reflecting on lately is, 'the only limit to our realisation of tomorrow will be our doubts of today'. As a girl who was previously impacted by self-doubt and stereotypes, I can very much relate to this quote. However, now I perceive that if I hadn't taken action yesterday, I might not have been able to see what I am seeing today. Sometimes, the only thing that holds us back is the voice inside our head that tells us we are not good enough or we cannot do it.


One practical tip that I have learnt is to thoroughly research the institution that you are applying to, connect with them, and tailor the application accordingly. This will help present a clear and targeted profile that showcases your strengths and suitability for the scholarship. This opportunity is rare and you will want to make the most of it.