Pearl Naa Dedei Tetteh is the head of education and recruitment for the Ghana High Commission, based in London, UK. On July 19, she was awarded the Embassy Education Attaché of the Year Award 2023 in recognition of her exceptional service to academic diplomacy and the support and assistance she gives to international students from Ghana. She is particularly passionate about social equity in education, identifying and providing educational opportunities to students who wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise. The PIE caught up with Pearl moments after she was awarded the prestigious accolade.
What do you like most about your job?
It’s the students. It’s dealing with students and making them happy because they are away from home and from family. I serve as their family here, so I am always happy when I come to the office to deal with issues, especially when we’re able to solve their problems – that’s the highest point of my day.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change?
I’d change the regulations of how many students I can bring in at the moment. It’s so expensive for us to bring a student. The cost involved is so high. So if we can have a situation where it is not costing us so much, that would be my magic wand.
What keeps you up at night?
Resolving issues, especially the student’s issues because of the cultural differences. We have a lot of welfare issues apart from the normal financial aid and other things, that’s what keeps me up at night.
What’s the biggest challenge to your profession?
Funds. Getting the required funds to take care of everybody’s needs, that’s the biggest challenge. I’m sure if we had the support not just from government, but the private sector also supporting scholarships, it would give us enough room to bring more qualified students to this country. Not just to London, but to other places as well.
What’s your proudest career moment?
When I see my students graduate. I attend the graduate ceremonies and sometimes I have 20 students in a group, knowing they are all graduates and are all going back home. Today is another moment for me as well.