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School of Business and Management

School of Business and Management staff win Queen Mary Education Excellence Awards

Queen Mary has recognised the work of colleagues from the School of Business and Management, awarding two of seven President and Principal’s prizes to academics and professional staff from the school.

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Dr Joanne Zhang and Dr Ishani Chandrasekara

Dr Joanne Zhang and Fezzan Ahmed received an award for the extra-curricular QM Social Venture Fund (QMSVF) programme, a student-led social impact fund investing in student-led ‘start-ups for good’, tackling issues such as reducing carbon emissions and improving inclusion in education.

Dr Ishani Chandrasekara was also awarded for her work on widening access to accounting and finance, after helping to develop new routes into the industry for students from underrepresented groups.

The QM Social Venture Fund equips student participants with entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, plus funding to invest in social ventures of their choosing. Now in its second year of operation, the fund was the first of its kind in the UK.

Dr Joanne Zhang, Director of QMSVF, said: “I am delighted that the QM Social Venture Fund has won the 2021 QM President and Principal’s Prize. The programme is a truly collaborative effort with our students, colleagues and partners, to empower the next generation of social entrepreneurs and investors from diverse backgrounds.”

Dr Ishani Chandrasekara was commended for a string of achievements aimed at promoting social mobility in accounting and finance. Her successes include playing a leading role in the development of the BSc Accountancy (Flying Start) in partnership with PwC, and securing a £10,000 scholarship for Flying Start students from low-income backgrounds. She also negotiated two bursaries for Accounting and Management students, funded by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), and set up the first industry placement year for BSc Accounting and Management students, in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the NHS.

Dr Ishani Chandrasekara said: “As Queen Mary’s mission is to become the most inclusive university of its kind, I have committed many years to leading new and innovative ways for giving access to education for young people born into low-income families. My efforts have been targeted especially at those in our local community, who regardless of their talent, or their hard work, do not have the same access to opportunities as those born into more privileged circumstances.”

View the full list of winners via the Queen Mary news feed.