Annual Amos Bursary event at UCL a great success!

Baroness Amos of Brondesbury established the Amos Bursary in 2009 in loving memory of her parents. Young men aged between 16-24, from inner city schools and with family connections to Africa and the Caribbean are given the opportunity to access leading universities in the UK. Those selected for these prestigious awards have the opportunity to attend workshops and networking events, work with a mentor, and receive incentives such as the UCL Amos Bursary.

Engaging with young Black, Minority Ethnic (BME) students is an integral part of UCL’s widening participation strategy and working with partners towards initiatives such as the Amon Bursary embodies the University’s steadfast efforts in cultivating a thriving, diverse, and inclusive student community.

A drinks reception held on 9 June 2016 provided a great opportunity for potential students to meet with current recipients of the Amos Bursary as well as volunteers, mentors, and staff members from both the Amos Charity and UCL. There were approximately 80 attendees, including students from years 12 and 13 and their parents, all of whom gathered in UCL’s Medical Science AV Hill lecture theatre: a suitably impressive venue in the heart of our UCL campus.

DSCF4237Daniel Hulme (UCL Computer Science), an advisor on cross-Atlantic start-ups and heavily involved with several global organizations, spoke to the students inspirationally about the opportunities that younger generations will have to shape the future, particularly with regards to fast-paced technological advancement. Kevin King (Head of Student Funding at UCL), provided students with a comprehensive overview of the services the Student Funding team offer and outlined UCL’s continued collaboration with the Amos Charity. Adam White (UCL Widening Participation) followed this with an excellent introduction to activities such as Taster Days and Summer Schools.

The University was also privileged to welcome special guests Jackie Wright and Mervyn Lyn to speak to the students. Jackie Wright is the Vice-President of Microsoft IT Strategic Enterprise Services, and Mervyn Lyn is the Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships for Music and Sports. Both gave wide-ranging accounts of their experiences, and how technology is changing the working world. They highlighted the potential impact of the Amos Bursary itself, and the potential impact of those students who receive it.

The young guests also had the chance to hear directly from current Amos Bursary holders, who reported on the Town Hall meeting with President Obama that they were fortunate enough to be invited to. They stressed the importance of the network that students can build as Amos Bursary holders, and the positive influences of meeting individuals such as President Obama. Students, speakers and guests continued their discussions at a networking event with a warm family atmosphere.

The event was commended by both partners and prospective students alike. All participants had the opportunity to get a feel of UCL facilities and hopefully benefitted from the expertise and experience provided by both internal and external speakers. We hope this the next generation of students left feeling engaged and inspired!