Professor Emeseh began her career as a lecturer of law in 1995 at the University of Benin in Nigeria’s Edo State. Prior to joining the University of Bradford, she served as the Director of Learning and Teaching in the Institute of Business and Law at the University of Aberystwyth in Wales from 2006 to 2017.
“My dream, when I decided to study law at the University of Benin, was initially to practise and be involved in advocacy and social justice. However, my MSc. in Criminology and Social Justice at the University of Cardiff made me develop a keen interest in an academic career. I really enjoyed the dynamism in the environment and the freedom of thought and debate. It is such a melting pot of ideas and cultures.”
As an academic at the University of Bradford, her role encompasses three main areas – teaching, research and administration but also wider engagement.
“As Head of the School of Law, I am responsible for developing and implementing the vision and strategy of the School across these key areas in line with the university’s vision. My research interests lie in Environmental Law and Policy with particular interests in regulation, governance, environmental justice and the interface with international economic law, criminal law, and human rights. I publish on these subjects, present papers at various fora nationally and internationally, and engage in knowledge transfer and capacity building activities in these areas with various organisations, civil society groups and national governments. My teaching at postgraduate level focuses on these key areas,” she says.
“Being in this environment is a privilege. One has the unique opportunity to teach, mentor, and hopefully have an impact on the next generation. You have the freedom to follow your research interests, influence policy debates, and hopefully have some impact at a practical level.”
Professor Emeseh obtained her LL.M from the Rivers State University in Nigeria; a Ph.D from the University of Dundee in Scotland; and a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education from Aberystwyth University in Wales.
Her overall experience teaching in a UK Institution has had both positive aspects and challenges.
“The fundamental aspects of an academic role are not different across the world, including between Nigeria and the UK. It is about learning, teaching, imparting knowledge, mentoring the next generation and undertaking research. However, a key difference is the disparity in the facilities and environment that is available for one to carry out this role.”
On the present realities of Covid-19 and its impact on delivering lectures to her students, Professor Emeseh admits that higher education has not been immune to the devastation wrought by these current times.
“Our immediate response was to transition very quickly to remote lecture delivery and support for students. This has been possible because of advances in technology. It has not been without its challenges, and we have had to adopt policies and strategies to ensure inclusivity and support for all students and staff regardless of background, access to relevant infrastructure and family context. It is work that continues as we plan for the next academic year.”
“I joke that being an academic keeps me young, and it really does.” She values being among young minds, which are idealistic and inquisitive without the boundaries that come with age and cynicism.
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