Victoria MwirichiaVictoria Mwirichia, Master of Public Policy (2016) St Antony’s College
“If I travel to all the continents of the world, I have friends there, thanks to Oxford!”
Victoria Mwirichia made a big decision to leave work for a year to be a full time student at the University of Oxford – a big decision which turned out to be absolutely worth it.
The Oxford degree has opened up many doors for her, and the experience she gained – not only in classes and lectures, but through conversations has been valuable. She can now analyse different policies from an informed standpoint. Oxford gave Victoria a platform to challenge and be challenged, to question issues, to share, to unlearn and learn.
Victoria is a policy practitioner with a passion for governance, security and development who currently works as a consultant with the World Bank in Kenya, working on a project involving governance and service delivery. In addition to this she works part-time as a lecturer at a private university in Kenya, where she teaches International Relations.
Her background is multi sector – she has worked with government, NGO and think tanks as well as in the private sector. Just before taking the MPP at the Blavatnik School of Government, Victoria worked in a Sino-African think tank based in Nairobi. The organisation focused on increasing awareness on the impact of Chinese investments in Africa, and opening up opportunities for partnership between African entrepreneurs and Chinese Entrepreneurs in Africa. She managed the organisations programs and projects, and was also responsible for research and institutional development. She also worked for a while with a human security think tank analysing threats to security in the Eastern and Horn of Africa regions. This role gave Victoria the opportunity to analyse the 2011 General Elections in Uganda, and to interview some key stakeholders within Uganda’s electoral system. Prior to her think tank, NGO and government roles, she worked in the private sector – primarily in agri-business, finance and governance.
She specifically wanted to study Public Policy so this narrowed down her search for universities, which eventually led to the choice of Oxford’s Master of Public Policy Program. It was ideal for her because it is tailored for people seeking a practical and professional policy experience. The program’s very strong focus on improving governments, which is what she wanted to dedicate her professional career to, was important to her as well.
Victoria was also drawn by Oxford’s dedication to promoting diversity, and it was for her a place to meet and interact with scholars from diverse backgrounds. In her 2015/16 MPP cohort there were 117 students from 54 nationalities – and the experience of interacting with such a diverse group is rare.
Victoria was a recipient of two scholarships – The Oxford-Cambridge Society of Kenya (OCSK) scholarship in partnership with the Swire Trust which supports scholars from Kenya who have been engaged in development projects, and who have the passion and potential to contribute towards development initiatives in Kenya. The MPP Award sponsored by the Blavatnik School of Government and the African Democratic Institute. This award is given to outstanding candidates from Africa who have a passion for governance in Africa.
Favourite things about Oxford? – The people, and of course the old buildings, college experience, beautiful quads, amazing diners, beautiful sceneries, and the carol services at Christ Church College!