My name is Ananya, and I am super excited to be joining OUSA as the newest Research and Policy Analyst.
I was born in India, and I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Delhi. I was drawn to the field of education as I witnessed the stark difference in the accessibility of quality and inclusive education available to students from different socio-economic backgrounds. I wanted to challenge the deep-rooted structures of inequalities within education as I believe that education has the power to change the lives of children, families, and their communities. To get on-field experience, I worked as an educator with a grassroots organization wherein my work involved teaching in an underserved community and undertaking community-driven projects. My experiences there alluded me to the micro-level aspects of educational inequality and systematic discrimination prevalent in society. I realized that many of the solutions to those problems can be found in macro-level policy work and, hence I decided to pursue my Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Toronto.
During my graduate degree, I undertook coursework centred around decolonization in education, higher education, and equity-oriented policy analysis. I worked as a research assistant on various projects to support the on-campus experience of undergraduate students. This involved researching campus supports with mental health, work placements, language and much more. As a researcher, I draw immense value from centring student experience to inform policy. Student perspectives are often missing in stakeholder discussions around policy formulation and OUSA’s commitment to amplifying the student voice is something that I really admire. I am excited to bring my knowledge, skills and passion for policy and advocacy to this role!
Outside of work, I enjoy hiking (I’m a high-altitude mountaineer and I went to the Mt. Everest base camp for my first trek — yes, I go all out!!) and cooking. I’m also passionate about mental health and have co-founded a start-up to support the emotional and mental well-being of children through innovative resources as my side hustle!