Chevening researcher ready to help TT after studies in UK



Ashlee Burnett will be leaving TT for the University of Bristol in the UK, to study for a Masters in Education on a Chevening scholarship. Photo courtesy of Ashlee Burnett. –

At the end of September, Ashlee Burnett will leave TT for the University of Bristol in the UK, where she will study for a Masters in Education, focusing on politics and international development.

She is one of two TT nationals to receive fully-funded scholarships through the UK Government’s Chevening International Awards scheme, which entitles scholars to one year of postgraduate study at a university of their choice.

“I applied to three universities and was accepted to all three, but Bristol was my first choice. It has a really amazing program in education policy, it is very rich in culture and is a center of dynamism where you can exist beyond academics,” Burnett told Sunday Newsday.

At 24, Burnett’s portfolio of accomplishments is already quite impressive. With a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of the Southern Caribbean, she is a writer and educator. She has had poems published in Moko and Culturego magazines and has her own websites, with a blog for the Commonwealth Youth Programme. She has worked with a youth development NGO as a spoken word poet, visiting various TT secondary schools using speaking to address personal issues such as gender-based violence and teaching young people how they can use their voice to create change.

Ashlee Burnet is a spoken word poet and co-coordinator of Transform Education organized by the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative.

She is a Fellow of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust Network and an Advisor to the Global Advisory Committee for the Caribbean Region of the FRIDA Young Feminist Fund. She is also co-coordinator of Transform Education hosted by the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative – a global authority on gender in education that promotes evidence-based solutions to advance gender equality. in and through education.

In 2020 Burnett founded Feminitt Caribbean with the aim of advancing gender justice in the TT and the wider Caribbean.

She is also a Women Deliver 2020 Young Leader. Women Deliver is a global advocate promoting gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women, in all of their intersecting identities.

“For me, feminism is about justice and equity for all people, regardless of gender and sexual identity, enabling people to access opportunities, free from discrimination, violence and prejudice.

“I grew up in a single-parent family with my mother, and she went beyond gender roles. She was always a feminist. I always thought that (feminism) was only about women; now I realize that it’s for everyone, no matter your gender. . It’s about meeting people where they are and creating a just world.”

Ashlee Burnett at a workshop with children. –

Burnett said that under her scholarship contract, upon graduation she was obligated to return to TT to work for two years. But, she said, this contractual obligation will be the sweetest debt she will ever have to repay.

“My home is TT, and I have to come back here to help develop it, because it has given me a lot. I have to care about my fellow citizens, the environment, work to end GBV, etc. Thanks to education, we can transform the existing system, so I will use my degree to understand best practices in policy and international development in education and see how we can best transform the education system in TT.


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