Queen Mary University of London student Batul Chehab was selected from hundreds of students in the nation-wide Student Social Mobility Awards
Batul, a second year studying Computer Systems Engineering, was presented with the Technology Award for her outstanding achievements in the sector at an awards ceremony at London’s Mansion House on 13 July.
The fifth annual Student Social Mobility Awards were organised by the social mobility charity upReach to recognise the achievements of undergraduate students, organisations and individuals striving to improve social mobility across the UK.
The nominated students have managed to find success despite numerous socio-economic challenges including limited professional networks, juggling multiple responsibilities alongside studying, reduced access to careers support and living in areas with low job prospects. Around 68% of nominees were the first in their family to attend university, 60% were eligible for free school meals and 35% had caring responsibilities or were previously in care.
Commenting on her win, Batul said: “Winning upReach's prestigious award is truly humbling. I'm a woman in STEM, a minority, from a low-income family and I’m the first in my family to attend higher education - to say the least, imposter syndrome is a struggle. The barriers I’ve faced have been numerous. I felt like I started a step behind my peers, but it has encouraged me to work harder. However, I am far from the only one to have faced these barriers and there will be many more after me.
“This recognition is a testament to the invaluable support and opportunities provided by upReach, propelling my achievements to new heights. I am grateful to have been surrounded by exceptional finalists and inspiring individuals who continue to motivate me on my journey.
“Thank you to upReach, my mentors, family and friends, as well as Chris Phillips, my QMUL tutor, who has encouraged me to continue my studies – without him I wouldn’t be here. I hope to be able to give back to my community, helping others just as I have been helped. I’m looking forward to working hard and building my skillset through the fantastic opportunities I have been offered after winning this award before returning to my final year at Queen Mary.”
Queen Mary University of London has previously been named the top university in the country for social mobility and University of the Year at the UK Social Mobility Awards.
For more information, please see the UpReach website https://upreach.org.uk/ and https://studentsocialmobilityawards.org.uk/
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