Yeliz Akça

I was born in 1987 in Nicosia, Cyprus. I completed my high school education at Turk Maarif Koleji in Nicosia where I took GCE O’level, AS-Level and SAT examinations. At the end of my second year in high school (2003), I attended the

bicommunal summer camp Cyprus ACT Programme, in the USA. I had the opportunity to meet one of the educators, Mr Michael Donahue, I was very inspired by the way he taught. Bold leadership through facilitated group discussions, enjoyable outdoor- activities and group work, which were designed to improve communication and team building skills were some examples. I was astonished by the physical and psychological intensity of the activities, which were directing us to aim, to have willingness and to show a full commitment towards achieving.

I faced great difficulty during my university applications, as I was underage, sixteen years old. I applied to UK universities to study Biochemistry but I ended up receiving acceptances for the following year, as UK universities would not take the responsibility of an underage student. Only The University of Sussex in Brighton offered an extended undergraduate degree in Biochemistry to begin in 2004. The extended course began in Chichester College where I completed the foundation year and had to stay with a host family. It was very challenging for me to attend long hours of laboratory and classes, which were taught by very dedicated teachers. After an intensive foundation year, I started the first year of the undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Sussex. The campus life at Sussex was incredible and the whole three years at the School of Life Sciences equipped me with excellent academic skills and a scientific background. During the last year, I had the great opportunity of joining a research group for my final year project. My research project was conducted on “the effect of LPS plus cytokines and NO on glycogen synthesis in C2C12 myoblasts and the sensitivity of the response to insulin in an in vitro
model of sepsis”.
Although I loved performing different experiments and producing written scientific work and presenting it, I could not image myself being in the lab as a researcher for the rest of my life. I felt that a teaching career would be the most convenient field for my character.

In 2008, I got an acceptance from the Department of Education, University of Oxford. I had to go for an interview during my final year examinations at the University of Sussex, and now I can say that it was well worth the risk. After the matriculation day at the University of Oxford, my postgraduate course started with observation days at Bicester School in Oxfordshire. I worked as an intern teacher for GCSE and A Level Chemistry classes in Wood Green School in Whitney, Oxfordshire and King Alfred’ s School, Wantage, Oxfordshire. During my studies, I attended educational seminars and lectures, and I passed the professional examinations and completed my dissertation. I have completed curriculum assignments 1 and 3 at Masters’ level and assignment 2 at honours level. Carrying out school-based research for my thesis, reading the literature and conducting different research based assignments provided me not only with the crucial aspects of education at high school level which contributed a lot to my own professional development as a new teacher but also helped me to have a much wider view as an educator. My thesis was focused on’’ how the pupils perceive the impact of goal-orientation and goal-orientated teaching strategies on motivation’.  My curriculum assignment 3 was a study which focuses on’’ the learning and teaching strategies which can be used for year 12 Chemistry students (AS level students) to evaluate their own learning and reflect on their learning to enhance their academic achievement’’.

I was awarded a Qualified Teacher Status by the University of Oxford and General Teaching Council in the UK.  In September 2009, I moved back to Cyprus where I started to work as a Chemistry teacher at the Near East College.

As a child, I was taught that continual hard work is crucial to achieve success, but success has more meaning when the successor can think, analyse and shape his/her life with the knowledge gained through the experience. Therefore, I have always felt very lucky and grateful to be taught by my family, as well as educators I met at the summer camp, during my high school years and throughout my higher education. Their enthusiastic teaching and insight shaped the way I think and teach today.


With my academic tutors Prof. Simon Morley and Prof Michael Titheradge

during the graduation at the University of Sussex. (2004)


I was given my diploma in BSc Biochemistry at the University of Sussex, by the university chancellor Lord Richard Attenborough. (2008)


Posing with my peers during the matriculation day at the Green Templeton College University of Oxford. (2008)


My students and I at the Near East College graduation ceromony 2014


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