Four of our students have been recognised as champions of social mobility at the inaugural Student Social Mobility Awards, hosted by Baroness Helena Kennedy in the House of Lords on December 13.
The awards recognised Management and Finance student Suet Au for Outstanding Achievement in the Banking and Finance Sector; Management student Victoria Azubuike for Biggest Champion of Social Mobility; Law student Faryaal Aziz for Outstanding Achievement in the Professional Services Sector and Engineering student Kamal Deris won The upReach Ten award.
Suet is passionate about promoting social mobility and gender equality within the workplace and has worked with Code First: Girls.
Victoria has set up the Us Programme to inspire other young women from her north London community to aim high in their education and careers. The Us Programme works with over 400 young women in over 20 schools around London.
Faryaal is the first in her family to attend university. She has been involved in various social mobility charities and volunteers to encourage sixth form students from disadvantaged backgrounds to consider Higher Education.
Kamal came to the UK aged 14 with little English. He is now studying Engineering and is president of the Gliding Club and mentors other students.
The Student Social Mobility Awards were organised by upReach, supported by the Social Mobility Commission, to showcase the achievements of students and 2018 graduates from less advantaged backgrounds.
Commenting on her award as Biggest Champion of Social Mobility, Victoria Azubuike said: “It hasn’t sunk in. But I’m so grateful that the work of the Us Programme has been recognised.
“Warwick has pushed me out of my comfort zone and given me so much support – the staff on the Foundation year and at the Business School have been amazing and I’ve made friends from all over the world. I am 100 per cent glad I’m at Warwick and I’m working to show others the way,” Victoria added.
Suet Au said: "I’m overjoyed to have won this award. On a personal level, it’s a tremendous honour to be recognised for my progress in banking and finance in such an iconic setting and with so many inspiring people. But on a broader note, it’s even more wonderful to have the core aim of social mobility being acknowledged and re-affirmed. The award shows that many of us continue to care about giving people from disadvantaged backgrounds equal opportunities and that certainly means something very special to me."
Faryaal Aziz said: “This award means that my background hasn’t, in any way, limited my drive and resilience to surpass all barriers and obstacles to achieving success. I want students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds to know that there are abundant opportunities available to them, and almost all will prove to be invaluable.
“Warwick supports academically talented students from low income and poorly represented ethnic groups, by offering them a financial scholarship, guidance and career support. The success of all students at Warwick is continually emphasised and demonstrated through such scholarships and widening participation programmes and events.”
Professor Chris Hughes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), said: “These awards are a wonderful celebration of four outstanding Warwick students who have come to this university from under-represented backgrounds – and who are doing a magnificent job helping others to follow in their footsteps.
“We are delighted to partner with upReach as part of our commitment to supporting our students to aim high and to thrive in their chosen careers.”
(L - R): Suet Au, Victoria Azubuike and Faryaal Aziz with their awards