A 27-year-old Nigerian, Dr. Bahijja Raimi-Abraham, made history by becoming the first graduate of Pharmacy from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, to be awarded a PhD in Pharmacy. She shares her experience with Olabisi Deji-Folutile in this online interview.
Were you born in the UK?
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria in April 1985 and left Nigeria at the age of six when my family returned to the UK – my parents had lived and studied in the UK previous to that.
After completing my primary school education in London, I attended secondary school in North Wales, Penrhos College – where my mother and her sisters also were educated; and following my GCSEs I returned to London for sixth form when I studied and passed the Advanced Level examinations (A – levels) in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Drama.
From where did you obtain your first degree?
I was accepted to read Pharmacy at the University of East Anglia – the University had just opened its School of Pharmacy and I was among the first intake of Pharmacy students.
The course was of four years in duration and led to the award of the MPharm degree. Following this, I applied to, and was accepted by Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital in central London to undergo my Pharmacy Pre-registration year. After passing my Pre-registration exams and attaining full status as a Pharmacist, I was invited by my alma mater, University of East Anglia, to apply and study for a Doctorate in Pharmaceutics.
How many students registered for the PhD programme?
To the best of my knowledge, there were seven of us in the School of Pharmacy at the University of East Anglia (UEA) when I started my PhD course in October 2008.
Were you also among the first set of students to register for PhD in the university?
No. UEA has been in existence for almost 50 years – it was established in 1963 and has produced PhD graduates for a number of years. The School of Pharmacy at UEA was opened to accept its first intake of Pharmacy undergraduates in 2003. I was among the first cohort of Pharmacy undergraduates to be admitted…
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