Grad student aims to protect natural resources in Bangladesh

Graduate Studies, Social Sciences

- Megan Lowry

Lamya Islam with members of the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Women in Economics Affinity Group
Lamya Islam met with the members of the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Women in Economics Affinity Group to thank them for supporting her scholarship.

Lamya Islam moved from Bangladesh to Canada with her husband this past fall to pursue her master’s degree in economics at UVic. She is now the first recipient of the Women in Economics Graduate Scholarship at the university.

“It is a tremendous relief to know that I can focus on my studies instead of having to focus on figuring out how to pay for tuition,” says Islam.

She hopes to take economic teaching methods back home to Bangladesh.

Warmth and support for international students

The new scholarship initiative was spearheaded by the Women in Economics Affinity Group and UVic economics alumnae to support women entering their field. Islam had an opportunity to meet with some of the donors last season.

In turn, Islam wants to provide support and help shape policy in her own country in the years ahead. She says, “Bangladesh has a lot of natural resources but there is a lot of pollution, and it’s hurting the economy and making people sick.”

“I want to try and influence policy in my country,” Islam explains. She says it was very encouraging for her to meet with some of the women who helped create the new scholarship.

“It assures me that I’m in the right place,” she adds.

UVic has a reputation of being very welcoming to international students. As someone who dresses differently, I was a little concerned of how people would react to me, but I have only felt warmth and support since arriving.
—UVic economics grad student Lamya Islam

Members of the Women's Economic Affinity Group meet with the first recipient of the scholarship they helped to create.

For UVic alumna Cynthia Johnston, the meeting was also encouraging: “We set out to support other women in economics just over a year and half ago. Meeting Lamya is the fulfillment of that dream.”

“UVic has made me feel at home,” says Islam.

“One day, I hope to return the generosity I have received.”

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Keywords: international, economics, funding

People: Lamya Islam

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