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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Nina van Lanschot

Nina van Lanschot
Nina van Lanschot
The Netherlands
M.Sc. in African Studies
Doing Now
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

What were you doing before you came to Edinburgh to study?

Before I came to Edinburgh I finished a BSc in Political Science at Leiden University in the Netherlands. After my BSc I interned at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and took some time to travel through Southern Africa.

What motivated you to apply for an MSc in African Studies at Edinburgh?

In my masters I wanted to learn more about political and economic developments in Africa, but not study Development Studies. The MSc in African Studies at Edinburgh allowed me to do that; apart from the core courses I attended courses in International Relations (of Africa), on the Governing of Mineral Extractions and also a course on Foreign Investment (at the Business School).

What was the academic community of CAS like?

The CAS is a small community it is easy to get to know the staff, lectures and fellow students. I really appreciated the diversity of people and their academic interests. The weekly seminars (and pub visits afterwards..) were very enjoyable and broadened my perspective on African Studies.

You're graduating soon. What does the future hold?

Currently I am working on the Gender department at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In this role I mainly focus on the implementation of UN Resolution 1325, which specifically addresses the impact of armed conflict on women, and women’s contributions to conflict resolution and sustainable peace. To do this the Ministry focusses on women in specific geographical areas (Burundi, DRC, Colombia, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan and the MENA region) by facilitating them to become politically active and take on leadership positions.

Any additional advice for incoming students?

My main advice would be to enjoy your time in Edinburgh! Besides that I would advise to ask people (from CAS, but also outside CAS) for help and advice when you need it, as people are usual more willing to help than you might expect. And if you want to have a job from the moment you graduate, start applying in time!