An international student has graduated from Edge Hill University with a prestigious scholarship in recognition of his caring contribution to the campus community.

Joseph Ojebode, who gained an MSc in Information Security and IT Management, was awarded a prestigious Adam Bell scholarship after acting as a second family to other international students on campus.

During his time at Edge Hill, Joseph went out of his way to engage with his fellow students and offer support to those struggling with work, often putting his own deadlines at risk to help others with their assignments.

Drawing on his own experiences, he was very mindful of the difficulties international students can face, proactively seeking out and supporting these students. He often cooked meals for them to encourage them to come out of their rooms and socialise, creating a sense of family and community within University Halls. He has also helped international students with their English language skills and visited one student in hospital, taking on the role of family and friends who were many miles away.

“Helping other students was just a natural part of me,” said Joseph. “I have been an international student from a tender age when I travelled from my home country Nigeria to Dubai to study for my undergraduate degree, so I know how difficult it can be travelling overseas to study. It takes time to get used to and if it is an environment where people are mostly reactive, it might be a bit difficult to adapt. My own experiences at this time prompted me to be more helpful to new students in general.

“My advice to new international students starting University is that they should try and mix with people from different cultures and backgrounds so can they learn new things and benefit from others’ knowledge.”

The scholarship panel described Joseph as ‘an unassuming, modest young man who acts with compassion, dedication and resilience. His contribution to the University is not a big bang but a series of small, everyday actions that make people’s lives a bit easier and their time at Edge Hill that much more enjoyable.’

Joseph hopes to find a job at an IT security company as a cyber-security specialist.