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UNSW Future of Change Scholar wants healthcare for all

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2 December 2019
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UNSW postgraduate student, Manik Singh, was awarded a Future of Change Scholarship to use towards his dual degree in public health.

Manik will use the prestigious scholarship to support his dual Master of International Public Health and Master of Health Management degrees. Manik shared a few words about how the scholarship will help his study, what he wants to do with his public health degrees, and how moving across India as a child inspired him to improve healthcare in India. 

What the Future of Change Scholarship means to you and how it will help your studies?

The Future of Change Scholarship has given me the freedom and flexibility to chase my dream and focus on my vision. My vision of a world where healthcare is accessible to all irrespective of their social and financial status. Creating a world where efforts are made to maintain and restore physical, mental and emotional well-being of patients.

What are your career aspirations?

Setting goals in your career is important. It is equally important to aspire for certain things in life. I would like my career in healthcare to be defined by: 

1.    Analysing malfunctioning healthcare systems and work on what really ails them
2.    Face challenges in the healthcare industry head on and address them
3.    Keep in perspective the fight against all that is harmful to humanity
4.    Most importantly, take healthcare where it is needed the most

Why did you choose to study the Master of International Public Health and Master of Health Management at UNSW? 

I chose these particular courses because UNSW’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine is the only school worldwide that provides me with insights into public health as well as equips me with managerial skills in the healthcare industry. 

The school also provides me with an opportunity for research. I am particularly interested in researching health promotion strategies to reduce health inequalities in rural settings. I believe, the research will help me in my vision of accessible healthcare even in the most remote of all places in my country. Research creates a path for generating new questions. Existing data helps create more opportunities for research. The education is endless, the learning unparalleled. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Born an Army kid, I imbibed the virtues of commitment, tenacity of purpose and courage of conviction at a fairly young age. Discipline was the bedrock of my family’s character. 
We moved constantly across the country.  This taught me adaptability, adjustment and resilience and exposed me to the strengths and weaknesses of my environment. The environment which gave me access to good medical care when I needed it. 

However, at times it was denied to many of my friends who did not come from the same background. Though this initially saddened me, it also ingrained in me an unwavering resolve to make a difference in this inconsistency in healthcare.  

Aspiring to be a doctor was a dream, oral health fascinated me and I realised my dream by becoming a dentist. After practicing for a while, I realised that just by working in a clinic I would not be able to achieve my vision of easy access to healthcare for all. 

I was given an opportunity to work for a large hospital as a healthcare manager. I was responsible for improving the processes in the hospital and making a difference to patient welfare while doing that. After working for about three years, I felt the need to enhance my skills and knowledge base and chose UNSW to help me achieve the same.

UNSW’s Future of Change Scholarship

The Future of Change Scholarships have been established to attract and support high-achieving students from India to undertake undergraduate or postgraduate study at UNSW. The scholarship is valued at $5,000 per year for the duration of a UNSW undergraduate or postgraduate degree program.

To be eligible, an applicant must be a citizen of India.The applicant must have applied and received an offer of admission into a UNSW undergraduate or postgraduate degree program. It’s open to students commencing their studies at UNSW in 2020. Find out more about the scholarship and eligibility criteria.