Skip to main content

23 April 2024

Master's students chosen by UN for elite graduate programme

Two students on the MSc Global Health, Social Justice and Public Policy course have been chosen from amongst a record number of applicants for a prestigious UN graduate programme.

Alex and Anna

Alexandra Dankova and Anna Lebedeva have been selected to attend the Graduate Study Programme at UN Geneva, the longest-running educational initiative of the United Nations.

This intensive two-week summer school provides an opportunity for participants to deepen their understanding of the United Nations and “International Geneva” through first-hand observations, lectures, research, and networking.

Both Alexandra, who was previously an undergrad at University of Edinburgh, and Anna, who did her first degree here at King’s, are understandably delighted to have been chosen.

“Studying and working in the UN is a little dream of mine and by getting onto the programme I feel like I got one step closer to that dream,” said Alexandra, whilst Anna added she felt “very fortunate to have been selected” as it was “a great opportunity to learn and grow”.

The Graduate Study Programme at UN Geneva is now in its 62nd year. Over the past six decades, the GSP has trained over 3,000 young people from more than 110 countries on all continents.

This year the UN had a record number of applicants – almost 1800 – from around the world.

The pair were encouraged to apply by Dr Mark Eccleston-Turner, Senior Lecturer and Director of postgraduate studies in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine.

He said: “I am delighted that Anna and Alexandra have been selected to be part of the UN’s two-week intensive Graduate Study Programme. The programme is highly competitive, and Anna and Alex are the only two students I have ever known to get accepted.

“It is a fantastic achievement by them both, and an excellent showcase of the talent we have in the department.”

The pair impressed the Selection Committee with their academic qualifications, their extracurricular activities and achievements, relevant professional experience, languages skills, and their motivation.

Both Anna and Alexandra credited being on the MSc as helping them with their successful applications.

Former Medical Science student Alexandra said: “The Master's at King’s provided me with unique set of skills, and courses such as ‘Politics of Health and Medicine’ added to my knowledge of UN and current issues we are facing in this 'global world'.”

She also said studying in London gave have better networking opportunities “to grow personally and academically”.

Held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in July, under the theme: “Summit of the Future: Challenges and Opportunities”, the Programme will consist of morning lectures given by representatives of the United Nations, other international organizations, civil sector, and diplomats.

There will also be visits to institutions, and work on group projects in the afternoons.

Anna, whose first degree was in Psychology and Neuroscience, said she was hoping the graduate programme would provide invaluable insights into the diplomatic and strategic planning processes that underpin global governance.

“And to gain first hand insights into the challenges and opportunities facing the international community today,” she added.

The pair say they can’t wait to get to Switzerland – a country Anna knows well from her school days - and get started.

“I am so excited!” said Alexandra. “We have already rented an apartment together and I look forward to living in a different country and practicing my French. I visited Geneva as a teenager, and I absolutely adored the city, so I am excited to go back!

More information on the graduate programme can be found here.


Learn more about the MSc in Global Health, Social Justice and Public Policy

Apply for a scholarship

In this story

Mark Eccleston-Turner

Senior Lecturer in Global Health Law