One Family, Two Lancaster University Graduates

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An uncle and niece have claimed a little piece of Lancaster University history for their family.

Kalada Iyalla and his niece Feyisayo Fagbore are both Lancaster graduates – but their family tale has a twist: Kal graduated with a degree in Management and Organisation in 2011, and this year Feyisayo followed in his footsteps, earning a BSc in Computer Science. However, when Feyisayo wore her robes this September, the ceremony was not in Bailrigg, Lancaster but more than 3,300 miles away in Accra, Ghana. Feyisayo was one of our graduates in this year’s graduation ceremony.

She was inspired by her uncle’s fond memories of Lancaster and by the opportunities available to her in Accra, as they forged a unique university bond across two continents. “I chose Lancaster after a lot of research and speaking with my uncle, who had first-hand experience in Lancaster,” says Feyisayo. “We discussed his experiences long before my GCSEs, and it helped shape my decision.

“My experiences in many ways are similar to my uncle’s, especially when it came to having very skilled tutors who took a true interest in my learning and development. On careers and internship, I had amazing support and access to many resources Lancaster provided.”

She added: “I chose Lancaster not only because of the standard and quality of the University, but also because of its commitment to blending real-world experiences with classroom material, especially across Africa. I am passionate about African entrepreneurship across the world so the Accra campus was perfect for me.”

Uncle Kal was delighted to see his niece follow in his footsteps to become a Lancaster graduate. “I was incredibly elated when I found out she was going to Lancaster’s Ghana campus,” said Kal, who was the fifth member of his family to study abroad for a degree. “Prior to her decision on what university to study at, I spent time speaking with her on the sort of values, principles, academic quality and integrity she expects from a business school. She had a few top schools to choose from and spent time exhaustively researching and speaking with myself and the wider family. When she told me she had chosen Lancaster, I was elated.”

Both Kal and Feyisayo threw themselves wholeheartedly into their time at Lancaster.

Kal was a Student Ambassador Supervisor, while Feyisayo spent her holidays volunteering and implementing things she learned during term time.

Feyisayo praised the help she received from faculty in LUG and the support and assistance provided by the whole Lancaster team.

The hope now is that she is not the last member of the family to become a Lancaster graduate.

“I am currently lobbying for my brother, who is in high school, to consider Lancaster, and we are all keeping our fingers crossed hoping that he will study there too,” Feyisayo said.