You couldn’t write it: author to collect degree on first visit to Dundee

You couldn’t write it: author to collect degree on first visit to Dundee


Life will prove stranger than fiction for a University of Dundee student when she collects a degree on her first ever visit to the city.

Author Ify Tony-Monye will travel from her home in Nigeria to attend Tuesday’s Graduation ceremony at Caird Hall, having completed her Masters degree in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety as a distance learner.

She has juggled her studies while working in her home country’s healthcare system and continuing her career as a successful writer, with her fiction being nominated for an international prize.

“This will be my first time in Dundee and I’m incredibly excited about Graduation week,” said Ify. “It will be great to physically meet my wonderful dissertation supervisor as well as a few of my fellow distance learning course mates.

“I continued to write throughout my studies. Writing is very relaxing for me and when I write, I’m in my element. I found that it was very easy to take a breather from studying or my coursework by putting pen to paper, though I had to be very deliberate about striking that balance so that neither coursework nor official duties suffered.”

Ify began her course in January 2020, with Dundee one of only a handful of universities to offer Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at a Masters level. In Nigeria, she works as a Quality Improvement Advisor with more nine years spent working in US Government-funded HIV programs. She leads a quality improvement team of 16 members, managing care for almost 200,000 people living with HIV across three states, and wanted to develop her skills further with a Dundee education.

Her career in the field of fiction is equally successful, with her second novel, To Dance With Shadows, being nominated for the 2021 Switzerland Literary Prize and she has continued to publish work during her time studying at Dundee. With her studies now complete, she is now able to devote more time to penning her third novel, which is already underway.

“I had studied in the UK before and knew that I would receive a good quality of education at Dundee,” she added.

“It was also highly advantageous that I could pursue my course as a distance learner as it enabled me to work full-time even as I studied. I’m excited to visit Dundee to receive my Masters degree and utilise my new skills in my job, as well having some more time for my writing.”