The EMJD GEM program is specifically designed with a joint doctorate in mind with the participating universities in the consortium being the University of Warwick (Coventry, United Kingdom); LUISS-Guido Carli (Rome, Italy); Université de Genève (Geneva, Switzerland); Université Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium); and Universität Bielefeld (Bielefeld, Germany).
Ostensibly, we have the prerogative to choose our first and second host institutions. Often, this isn’t the case. For me in particular, I originally applied to Warwick and was shifted to Rome, and subsequently re-applied for my original preference as my second institution but it appears I’m headed to Brussels instead! Reasons for this ‘nullification of choice’ depend on who you ask— the politically correct reason for assigning students to a different university is that a supervisor is unavailable in their first preference; however, the more salient reason conveyed candidly to me by one of the heads of the program is that they simply are not willing to spend so much more money to send a non-EU candidate to Warwick versus an EU candidate who only pays half the tuition. Apparently, it’s at least an €8,000 difference.
Now I’m a practical girl. I’ve grown up hearing the words “we don’t have enough money for that” since I was a child, a story my parents are fond of telling me. We would be in a toy store and they would say that and I wouldn’t make a fuss. What’s more is that I grew up in a developing country with monumental financial problems, of all people I understand monetary constraints in decision making— what I don’t understand is misleading student researchers into thinking there may be a possibility of something where there is none.
That said, my heart has let go of Warwick and warmed up considerably to the idea of Brussels and seeing Manneken Pis everyday.
I like to believe that the universe brings us where we need to go, and apparently my place is there. Université Libre de Bruxelles, we will be amazing!