Fortune (middle) with PhD supervisor (Prof. Dr. Alexander Stroh-Steckelberg, left ) and colleague (Ghadafi Saibu, right)

I am Fortune Selorm Agbele. I am a former beneficiary of the DAAD Helmut-Schmidt scholarship programme, graduating from the Hertie School of Governance. I am also a recent beneficiary of the DAAD research grant for the PhD, completing a PhD in political science. I got the degree from the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies, having been there from 2016 to 2021.

As a recent graduate, I am still in touch with my institution since I am publishing my thesis into a book. I am also in touch with colleagues, who I believe will remain friends for life.

My PhD research
My research analysed variations in voter turnout across three systematically selected constituencies. There were two primary outcomes of my research: First, it highlights the importance of local context in shaping voter behaviour and underscores the need for comparative electoral studies to take local political dynamics in any given polity into perspective when studying voter behaviour. Second, the research benefits comparative electoral studies on a more abstract level by proposing a framework: The concept of utility is expanded to account for individual and collective level utilities to help explain variations in turnout at the subnational level within a single country case.

My outlook on higher education and internationalisation
With the world becoming a global village, the interconnectedness of the human race is growing daily. The same is the internationalisation of higher education!

My advice to female in academia
They should aspire to broaden their horizon, question status quo which has remained the same and passed on to them. Only then can the wheels of innovation be greased.