The BAME (Black Asian, Minority Ethnic) Ambassador Scheme launched in September and it has been an amazing experience seeing the development of the students involved. They have challenged the academic community to diversify the curriculum, as well as decolonising reading lists and to adopt an inclusive learning environment. They have raised hundreds of pounds to support children in Syria and negotiated teaching and learning authentically at senior level committees, it is for these reasons that we won the Students' Union of the Year Award at the NUS Black Student Awards 2018. The award represents the hard work of the BAME Ambassadors and here is what they had to say….
Hamza Shaikh – Huddersfield SU NUS Black Students Delegate
Back in November, I was successful in the SU NUS Elections. I was elected as Black Students Delegate. The NUS BSC (Black Students Campaign) is a nationwide liberation campaign led by NUS Black Students Officer who was re-elected at the conference, Ilyas Nagdee! I was proud to endorse Ilyas for this election. The campaign represents all African, Asian, Arabian & Caribbean students and the conference was a very liberating, empowering and equal safe space for all identifying students of colour. I was proud to accept the award on behalf of our SU for ‘Students’ Union of the Year’ which is a testament to the amazing and revolutionary work of our BAME Ambassadors – I look forward to working with the Ambassadors. Yes, this award is highly prestigious – yet the task ahead of us is huge. Step by step we will work together with the institution and diversify the curriculum as well as tackling all forms of racism as well as practically tackling the attainment gap. I’m excited for the next phase of the BAME Ambassadors!
Iqra Anjam - Academic lead of the BAME Ambassador Scheme
As a BAME Ambassador at the University of Huddersfield, I was given the chance to create and deliver workshops ensuring students felt supported and empowered to reach their full potential. It has been shown that there is a strong correlation between a sense of belonging and the feeling of happiness. So, in order to be happy at university, you need to feel you belong. And to feel that, you need to get involved. Naturally, we care about a place or a project a lot more if we have contributed to it, if we have dedicated a part of ourselves to it. University is just the place to try out everything you have always been meaning to, and in this process, discover and develop new talents. Being a BAME Ambassador was a tremendous opportunity to make a tangible difference to the academic lives of my peers. It’s nice to have a job that fits around you, that’s varied and often good fun. I've made solid friendships and connections during my year as an Ambassador. I've also had the opportunity to try out a variety of different jobs, which has helped develop my employability skills. The scheme is now being widely recognised due to the work the University and BAME Ambassadors have collectively carried out. This is strengthened by the recent award that was won, the Students' Union of the Year Award at the NUS Black Student Awards 2018. This award is a testament to all of our hard work contributing to local and national change for BAME students at the University.
Click here for a video of Hamza Shaikh talking more about the Scheme and the Award.