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A PhD student at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is the first to receive a Doctorate as part of a multi-million pound scholarship scheme funded by the Algerian Government.

Dr. Linda Merzougui, a linguistics scholar in the School of Education, graduated today through the Algerian Doctoral Initiative, a five-year scheme designed to improve the teaching, learning and research of English in Algerian universities.

Since its introduction in 2014, more than 400 students have been awarded scholarships to study at UK universities, fully funded by the Algerian Government. Students are selected through an annual competition run by the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

The University of the West of Scotland currently has 19 students taking part in the scheme, conducting research in English literature, language and linguistics.

As part of her doctorate, Dr. Linda Merzougui studied patterns of code switching on social media – the practice of alternating between two or more languages – to examine correlations between certain topics of conversation and preferred languages.
To celebrate the first student on the scheme graduating, Samia Laadjal, financial attaché for Algeria and project manager Samia Ounzab attended the graduation.

Dr. Linda Merzougui, said: “I feel privileged to be the first on the initiative to receive my doctorate as it is an important milestone for me personally, as well as for academic relations between the UK and Algeria.
“I have learned so much at the University of the West of Scotland and have made many lasting friendships, and will be forever grateful for the University’s support.”

“I feel privileged to be the first on the initiative to receive my doctorate as it is an important milestone for me personally, as well as for academic relations between the UK and Algeria."
Dr. Linda Merzougui

Professor Donald Gillies, Dean of the School of Education at UWS, and her doctoral supervisor, said: “We would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Dr. Linda Merzougui on her Doctorate which follows many years of hard work.
“Studying for a Doctorate is never easy, but we hope Linda’s experience has been one of collaboration and knowledge sharing, helping to make the process a positive one through the creation of lasting UK/Algerian relationships, and UWS/Algerian ones in particular.”

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