Heritage

Meghan Markle Just Spoke Out About Putting Herself Through College

"Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive."
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / CHRIS JACKSON
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When Meghan Markle discussed the challenges of paying for an education yesterday, she was speaking from experience.

"It was through scholarships, financial aid programs and work-study, where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition, that I was able to attend university," she said. "And, without question, it was worth every effort."


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The Duchess of Sussex addresses students and faculty at the University of the South Pacific.

The Duchess of Sussex addressed the topic at the University of the South Pacific's main Fiji campus. More than just a meet-and-greet, the royal appearance was planned to announce two new grants awarded to Fiji National University and the University of the South Pacific.

The grants will be put toward workshops for the institutions' female faculty, which in turn will allow "more women become part of the decision-making process in academic institutions," according to Meghan. "Because when girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them."


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Meghan greets a young fan at the University of the South Pacific.

READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF HER SPEECH BELOW:

Bula! It is a great privilege to be with all of you today.

As a university graduate, I know the personal feeling of pride and excitement that comes with attending university. From the moment you receive your acceptance letter, to the exams you spend countless late nights studying for, the lifelong friendships you make with your fellow alumni, and the moment you receive your diploma. The journey of higher education is an incredible, impactful, and pivotal one.

I am also fully aware of the challenges of being able to afford this level of schooling for so many people around the world—myself included. It was through scholarships, financial aid programs and work-study, where my earnings from a job on campus went directly towards my tuition, that I was able to attend university. And, without question, it was worth every effort.

Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive. And for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital. Providing them with access to education is the key to economic and social development. Because when girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures, not only for themselves but also for those around them.

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While progress has been made in many areas across the Commonwealth, there is always scope to offer more opportunities to the next generation of young adults, and specifically to young women.

The Association of Commonwealth Universities, which Her Majesty the Queen is Patron of, supports universities to promote equality in their own institutions. I am pleased to announce today that two new grants will be awarded to Fiji National University and the University of the South Pacific, allowing each of them to run workshops which empower their female staff.

This means that female faculty members are able to encourage others to follow in their footsteps and enter higher-education, and that more women become part of the decision-making process in academic institutions. Grants like this ensure that women are provided with the training and skills to operate effectively in their roles, and those with leadership potential are given the opportunity to be heard and recognized at the most senior level.

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It is wonderful to join you here today, and we look forward to learning more about your academic endeavors and the work you plan to do as future leaders and as change-makers!

My husband Harry and I wish you all the very best of luck as you continue your studies and work. Your efforts now will help to make a positive future for each of you and your communities at large. Congratulations to you all!

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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