Queen Mary Alumni

Student story: Ali Bahaci

Ali is a BSc Biochemistry student. He is the first in his family to attend university.

Ali Bahaci, Queen Mary & Westfield Alumni Bursary recipient 2017

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"I was previously exposed to QMUL through summer schools for medicine and dentistry students. I enjoyed my experience and from this, I felt the university was the best choice for me.

"I've always had an enthusiasm for science. Although I was initially interested in studying Medicine as a degree, Biochemistry is equally as great and I feel it best suited me. First year does take a bit getting used to but I am really enjoying the content in my course so far.

"I work two part time job, as a GCSE science tutor and a freelancing graphic designer. I also commute to university so I have to pay for my weekly travel cost. Despite the increasing debt, I had to take out a maintenance loan to support my studies and myself. It has not been easy. When I was told that, I had been awarded an Annual Fund bursary I was shocked and happy. I felt a sense of achievement because I have been recognised for my hard work- and it all paid off! Travelling to and from university has been a lot easier and I don't have to work as many hours at work to get by. Overall, I feel more financially secure.

"All students have financial worries, whether this is on a small or big scale. Student maintenance loan does not ensure financial stability. We always have to be considerate of how we spend and not fall into overdrafts or spend excessively.’

"I am currently focusing on my studies but I have a keen interest in teaching. I find it is a rewarding profession because you are giving back to the community and helping students reach their potential. I hope to prepare myself in the next three years by finding teaching experience alongside my studies.

"To the alumni who funded my bursary- thank you! You have lifted a huge pressure off me. Coming from a background that has had limited access to education and little support has made me appreciate this kind of support even more. I am grateful for the bursary and want to give back to our students in the future.'