Student Story: Shabiha Islam
Shabiha is a Law student studying at Queen Mary University of London. She is the eldest of three siblings and the first in her family to go to university.
Shabiha Islam, Queen Mary University of London Annual Fund Scholarship
"I knew I wanted to come to Queen Mary after I attended their Offer Holder day. I like that the campus is friendly, diverse and there are many facilities that students can access. I also like that there is an opportunity for students to complete modules in other London universities. Studying Law at Queen Mary is both challenging and exciting. Due to the pandemic, it has been hard to focus on studies and access wider course resources at the moment.
"Because I come from a low-income household, I decided to take out a maintenance loan. My dad is the sole earner in my family, which means we rely on his income to run the household. Therefore, it has been difficult for my dad to support my student expenses as well. I couldn’t believe it when I found out that I’ve been awarded the Annual Fund bursary! The funding helped pay for my travel expenses, work experience and course resources. I feel as though I can finally start enjoying my university experience without the added financial stress.
"Finances are a concern for students, particularly to those who come from a disadvantaged background or are care leavers. Some students are forced to look for a part-time job to support themselves which can be at the expense of their studies. This year has been especially tough for so many students.
"In my first year of study, I’ve been able to take part in a range of activities on campus. I currently volunteer at the Legal Advice Centre on campus as a note-taker and I hope to progress to a Student Advisor. I’m also part of the Law Society, which is helpful for me to find out what opportunities there are for me on and off-campus. During my time at university, I want to apply for Vacation Schemes and work experience so I can find out which area of Law I want to specialise in after I graduate.
"Thank you to the alumni who made this award possible. Because of you, I can explore the practical side of Law which I enjoy the most. You’ve eased my financial stress and motivated me to continue working hard. You’ve inspired me to hopefully give back in the future and support students, like myself."