"I want to set an example to women and girls"

Dr Maryam Kawsar receives her PhD, plus a selection of images from Tuesday's graduation ceremonies

First to attend university

From the first person in her remote village in Pakistan to attend university, to a doctorate, Dr Maryam Kawsar graduated from LJMU with a PhD today. 

Maryam began her doctorate back in 2018, in Liverpool Business School’s Doctoral Management Studies, with the thesis ‘To what extent is performance management enabling a better educational experience in the Pakistani secondary school sector.’ Her topic of choice came from her passion to promote education, and desire to affect change, particularly for women and girls, from her own experience of the education crisis in her country; Pakistan. 

Maryam grew up in the KPK province of Pakistan “where achieving an education is just a dream for many, most especially women” and was the first person in her village to enrol at a university. During her time of studying in Pakistan, Maryam underwent a great deal of opposition from her local community but with the support of her father and uncle never let it stop her vision of gaining an education. 

She said “I was the first girl in my village to attend secondary school and my dad always had big dreams for me. He actually wanted me to become a doctor in medicine, but I remember from a very young age telling him I would be a different kind of doctor one day, at the time I didn’t understand what a PhD was.” 

Maryam moved to the UK in 2017 and over the past five years has completed her PhD, while having her second child and raising her family.

On her choice of PhD topic, Maryam said:  

“Pakistan has faced long standing problems in Education since its independence over 75 years ago and currently has the world’s second highest number of children not going to school. 

“It’s driven me to research the importance of performance management within education to ensure children not only go to school but receive a quality education. The fact that Performance Management is a relatively new phenomenon in the secondary education sector set the context for my research and my desire to affect change” 

So what’s next for Maryam following her PhD? 

From my research and work with schools, I’d like to become a Consultant for Pakistan’s Education Department to improve the education system, particularly for young girls in remote areas. I strongly believe if there is a will there is a way and I’m so grateful to my family and husband for their support as I’ve researched this really important topic.  

Maryam’s PhD Supervisor, Deborah Humphreys, said: Maryam is so inspirational and will continue to be an inspiration to Pakistani secondary education. She’s worked so hard and should be very proud of everything she has achieved.” 

Day two of ceremonies at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

Across Tuesday’s three ceremonies, hundreds of students from the Faculty of Business and Law graduated. You can find pictures from today’s ceremonies on the LJMU graduation webpages and on LJMU’s social media channels


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