Desmond Tan

Tell us something about what you were doing before you came to Oxford

I was working as a tutor in the University of Brunei Darussalam.

What do you like most about studying in the Department of Education?

The supportive and friendly environment. I am currently a doctoral student with OSAT (Oxford Centre for Sociocultural and Activity Theory) research group. In each term, the research group organises reading groups, seminars and provides opportunities for doctoral students to present their on-going work in a friendly environment. These sessions have been intellectually stimulating and have helped me to appreciate the work of researchers and major theorists in the field of education.

What attracted you to the programme of study here?

The academic and research excellence of the Department.

What qualities do you think an Education student at Oxford needs to have in order to be successful?

I think the student would need be to persistent and self motivated to a large extent.

We hope that you would recommend the Department of Education as a place to come and study. What reasons would you give for this?

  • There are lots of opportunities to attend numerous and fascinating seminars given by local and international speakers.
  • Great international community of students.
  • Several learning opportunities inside and outside of the department.
  • The Department is very supportive of their doctoral students.

What are your career ambitions after you complete the course?

I hope to pursue a career in academia.

If I knew before I started the course what I know now, I would:

Read more widely especially on theories you may be using for your study.

What are three things that you might suggest to students coming after you to help them get the most out of their time here?

  • It is easy to get caught up in trying to attend to a lot of workshops, find out from others if it was of use before signing up!
  • Get to know your cohort and other fellow students and researchers.
  • Learn to ride a bicycle!