The Faculty of Computer Sciences graduated its first Afghan student yesterday: the 26-year old Shogoufah Mohammad Akram defended her bachelor thesis about relational database systems on Monday morning. The University and the Province supported her throughout her journey at the UniBZ.
In 2005 and 2006 the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano and the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol signed an agreement aimed at supporting students coming from countries affected by wars or natural disasters. Thanks to this agreement Shogoufah and other students from countries such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia and other Middle East regions like Afghanistan were able to study at the Faculty of Computer Science despite the financial and bureaucratic challenges.
When she first arrived in Bolzano, Shogoufah had quite a hard time, particularly related to languages but after taking some courses and with the support of her fellow class mates, the Faculty and the Advisory Service, she managed to complete her studies today. For her thesis entitled “A comparison of different implementations of temporal coalescing in relational database systems”, based on three papers from researchers of the Faculty, she measured the efficiency of algorithms in SQL databases.
Shogoufah has not yet decided what she will do now after graduation: “I will return to my husband in Afghanistan this week and then I will start looking for a job. Fortunately, in Afghanistan the government is promoting some projects in the field of computer science and aimed at employing female computer scientists. But I may also come back here to do my Masters; I don’t know yet.”
The team of the Advisory Service that supports students like Shogoufah from day one, their initial application at the University, was moved to see her graduate: “We are pleased that Shogoufah has reached her goal, which we partly consider also our goal: we hope that this achievement will offer her new opportunities.”
Many were the offices involved in this trans-border cooperation: besides the UniBZ and the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol, with its Ufficio affari di gabinetto and Ufficio per il Diritto allo studio universitario, l'università e la ricerca scientifica, also the association Zonta Club assisted Shogoufah in her daily life matters.
In the picture: Micaela Zordan from the Advisory Service (left) and graduate Shogoufah Mohammad Akram (right)