So, what am I doing?
- My name is Anders K. Møller, and I am doing a two-year MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Oxford.
- I am roughly £4,000 short from meeting the £17,700 cost of completing the second year of my master's degree.
- I have already raised over three-quarters of the money through two grants, savings, and a personal loan (my bank in Denmark rejected my loan application).
- If I don't reach my target, I will be suspended from the university.
- Therefore, I am trying to crowdfund the last bit needed to pay my tuition, which will allow me to finish my degree (and my 30,000-word thesis) this year! :)
Who am I?
I grew up in Denmark and Rwanda, and did my bachelor degree in Economics and Philosophy at The College of Wooster in Ohio. Amazingly, I was accepted to study for an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Oxford, and I was able to finance my first year of tuition through grants, family help and three summer jobs. It was fantastic to be able to pay the first year in full since I have already accumulated about £16,000 in debt for my undergraduate degree, but unfortunately this year I am still unable to pay the full cost of tuition. This is partly due to the fact that I was doing fieldwork for my master's thesis during the summer which - besides costing money - made me unable to save up money from work. I was initially quite hesitant about crowdfunding for a variety of reasons, but after I was rejected for a commercial bank loan in Denmark (and I don't qualify for one in the UK) I don't have a whole lot of other options as I am already relying on personal loans from friends for almost half of what I've raised.
Why 'development studies'?
The MPhil in Development Studies at the Oxford Department of International Development is a holistic, interdisciplinary master's programme, and possibly the best of its kind. I have long been passionate about problems related to international development, and this programme has already expanded my intellectual horizons more than I could ever imagine. In addition to taking foundation courses in development theory, research methods, social anthropology and history/politics, I spent the summer in the Kingdom of Bhutan doing fieldwork for my master's thesis, which is about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Bhutan and whether it has any linkages to sustainable development. I have developed as a person and a researcher, and I hope that my thesis can become a valuable addition to the academic literature out there. Moreover, I hope that my thesis will become a stepping stone to doing a Ph.D. in international development and eventually work in academia.
In addition to investing in someone who hopes to commit their life work to advancing research and interventions in development, I am making a "paying it forward pledge" (please see below) whereby all the money will (eventually) go onwards to fund someone else's educational needs.
Where will the money go?
- Tuition fees: £15,805
- College fees: £2,848 (minus a £950 college bursary)
- I have a warden job which gives me free housing
- ... and I keep myself alive by working a second part-time job.
- £5,800 from two bursaries
- £1,600 in personal savings
- £6,400 from a personal loan
=> Short-fall of £3,900 + up to 3.5% transfer fees (total: £4,037).
- Since I maintain my room and board through two part-time jobs, all money raised goes directly towards paying tuition.
- If I raise extra funds, it will go towards paying back my personal loan so I will have a little less debt when I graduate.
During my campaign, I will send out daily updates on my progress. If I meet my
target, I will send out monthly updates (during term time) on how I am
progressing with my course work and my master's thesis.
Paying it forward
In addition to the awesome rewards listed on the right, I want to pay the good karma forward. Therefore, for every single £ received, I pledge to donate an equal amount to another person(s) education fundraiser once I am on a secure financial footing! This may take 5-10 years since I have to pay off quite a lot of debt, but I sincerely believe in extending the same help that I receive to someone else.
- If you have any question, you can contact me via. Email on firstname.lastname@example.org, message me on Twitter or follow #MPhil2016 which I will use to post regular updates.
- If you find this a worthy cause, please share it with friends, family, or random strangers :)