‘You can't put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get’ – this quote, borrowed from Michael Phelps, is the life motto of 29-year-old Cardiff Metropolitan University international student, Pranav Pawar.
Originally from the city of Thane, near Mumbai in India, the aspiring dentist came to Cardiff three years ago to pursue his career goals. This summer, thanks to his unfailing motivation and the support of university staff, Pranav – who lives with a severe hearing impairment - successfully graduates from Cardiff Met with a 2:1 in Dental Technology.
Before coming to Wales, Pranav was studying Dental Mechanics in Pune, India. Cardiff Met’s ranking as a top UK university for overall international student support, the quality of its training opportunities, and the highly cosmopolitan atmosphere on campus all led to Pranav’s decision to study in the Welsh capital.
He explains: ‘Science, technology and creativity come together in dental technology and I find that very satisfying. I love it all but what I enjoy the most is interacting with patients, understanding their needs and providing them with a solution to the best of my ability.”
Pranav has always used a hearing aid, and he did not lip read or sign until he was 17, when he represented India at the Deaflympics. There, he realised the necessity of sign as not everyone could communicate verbally.
While at Cardiff Met Pranav has worked with a university support team composed of professors, translators, international officers, and administration staff and is extremely grateful for everyone’s guidance, particularly that of Neil Davies, Deputy Wellbeing Service Manager.
The University’s Disability Service is available to all students, irrespective of whether they are full-time, part time, or are students from outside the UK. It enhances their learning experience by helping them to overcome the obstacles they might face.
Speaking about his experience, Pranav added:
“The support I have received has been absolutely invaluable and I will always be grateful to the team at Cardiff Met for helping me to achieve my long-held dream, with special mention to Neil - the most helpful and supportive individual who has worked very hard to understand my needs and has given me the best support.
“I am very much looking forward to graduating in front of my family - who will be travelling to the ceremony - and taking my career ambitions to the next level having completed this latest stage in a very exciting journey.”
Jeffrey Lewis, Programme Director of the Dental Technology course at Cardiff Met, said:
“It has been a pleasure working with the Disability Team to help Pranav to get the most from our degree programme. The Dental Tech team engaged fully with Neil Davies and his staff to help Pranav achieve his absolute best - the constant communication between Pranav, the lecturing staff and Neil Davies contributed enormously to Pranav’s success.
“Pranav was an excellent student and we believe his learner journey at Cardiff Met has been one of success and positivity. We all wish him well for his future studies and career.”
Pranav now plans to complete a MSc in Dental Technology in Sheffield University, before gaining work experience around the world for a few years, using the time to learn as much as possible about techniques and methods in other countries, before returning home to India to open his own dental laboratory.