Derara Ansha Roba

Indigenous Studies - master Tromsø Centre for Sami Studies

Derara Ansha Roba

Indigenous Studies - master Tromsø

Above all, the critical approach to research makes it interesting as it challenges policies, laws, political systems, etc.

Why did you choose to study the MIS programme at UiT?

I had always dreamt of expanding my academic horizons beyond my major field of law. Studying law has exposed me to a wide range of subjects in both national and international contexts. During my undergraduate studies, I encountered contemporary issues such as refugees, internally displaced persons, indigenous peoples, women and children, persons with disabilities, and climate change, among others.

Upon joining Dilla University in Ethiopia as an assistant lecturer of law in 2019, I learned about the NORPART project and the program offered by UiT. I believed that UiT could provide me with a path towards exploring further academic opportunities, so I started to explore the UiT website, paying particular attention to the MIS program. As I read more about it, I began to develop a keen interest in joining the program. The program's multidisciplinary nature, which critically examines the concerns of indigenous peoples, has piqued my interest even more. I continued to explore research conducted in the MIS department, some of which were conducted by staff members from my own university. As I read through the research, I learned how students from different academic and geographical backgrounds approached specific issues in their respective contexts. This motivated me to take the next step.

What do you think about the program?

I found the MIS program to be an eye-opening experience as it explores issues concerning indigenous peoples from various fields. It is fascinating how it exposes students to a wider range of knowledge spanning across art, history, anthropology, political science, and law. I had the opportunity to meet students with different academic backgrounds and benefit from knowledge sharing. Above all, the critical approach to research makes it interesting as it challenges policies, laws, political systems, etc. The cross-disciplinary nature of the program allowed me to utilize my previous legal knowledge and conduct a thesis that combines indigenous methodologies and doctrinal legal methods. In my opinion, the MIS program is a steppingstone that helps scholars to consider issues from various angles.

Can you tell a bit more about what it is like to be a student at the MIS program?

I had an amazing experience in the MIS program. The professors, administrative staff, and other students were all incredibly friendly. At the beginning of the semester, I faced some challenges due to differences in the education systems between Norway and Ethiopia. However, with the close support of the student contact person and professors, I was able to overcome these challenges. The culture of teamwork and collaboration was very beneficial to me, and the weekly seminars for thesis writing students were especially helpful for developing my research skills. These seminars also allowed me to gain valuable insights from both professors and peers.

What are your plans for the future?  

I plan to continue my career in academia. To achieve this, I have already begun actively engaging in teaching, conducting research, and publishing article. My goal is to advance my knowledge in the fields of indigenous studies and law.

How has MIS enhanced your career?

Since I enrolled in the MIS program, I have been able to broaden my knowledge. This is due to the program's multidisciplinary approach, which has allowed me to explore various other disciplines. The most important benefit of being part of this program, however, has been the acquisition of social science research skills. With these valuable skills, I have been able to write articles utilizing both qualitative research methods and doctrinal legal methods.

Last changed: 11.02.2024 17.10