Inspiring the next generation of Britain's African and African Caribbean communities

21 Sep 2011 14:18:56.080

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Seven students from The University of Nottingham have been named among Britain’s 100 most outstanding graduates in a scheme backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The chosen graduates have been profiled in Future Leaders magazine, which is produced to inspire other young people from Britain’s African and African Caribbean communities to go to university, work hard and excel.

The third annual edition of Future Leaders: 100 of Britain’s Most Outstanding Black Students, also aims to break the negative stereotypes surrounding young people.

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Among the seven graduates from Nottingham, Barbara Njau was featured in the top 10. The former general secretary of Nottingham’s Africulture Society was included for time spent mentoring teens from disadvantaged backgrounds while studying. She is fluent in French and Swahili and earlier this year represented Nottingham at the Harvard World Model United Nations conference, which involved more than 200 universities worldwide.

The other graduates from Nottingham featured are Iheanyi Chimidi Nwosu, Elorm Haligah, Lukeki Kaindama, Caroline Kateeba, Shelia Mburu and Massimo Sekyere-Ampofo.

Speaking at the magazine launch at London’s City Hall, Boris Johnson praised the concept of the publication as well as the students listed.

During his speech Mr Johnson said: “I have long held the view that the best way to encourage young people to achieve their dreams is for them to see others, particularly from a similar background to themselves, fulfilling their own ambitions.

“All too often our attention is necessarily drawn to the things that go wrong with our young people — the gangs, the violence, the wasted lives. Yet there is so much that we should be celebrating — the achievements and the contributions that the 99 per cent of our young people are making to society by living positive lives of good character, advancing purposefully towards the goals they are setting for themselves.”

After learning of the student’s success, Professor Saul Tendler, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at The University of Nottingham, also praised the students selected.

Professor Tendler said: “It is a huge achievement and one that we should be justly proud of. It tells us that we have the right courses, facilities, staff and environment to help our students to go on to develop outstanding careers which have significant impact.

“I would hope that we do create very positive role models that inspire and enthuse young (and not so young) people. Our graduates have a great blend of academic, social and cultural skills and experience that sets them apart and prepares them for roles across the globe.”

Of the seven Nottingham students to have been listed, Iheanyi, Lukeki and Caroline received glowing endorsements from staff responsible for an employability initiative — the Nottingham Advantage Award.

Hayley Williams, Nottingham Advantage Award Coordinator, said: “We were delighted to be given the opportunity to nominate Advantage Award students for their outstanding achievement and contribution to the community. We are extremely proud that our students have received national recognition as ‘Future Leaders’.”

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:  

Nottingham Advantage Award: The initiative focuses on student skills, employability and personal and academic development. Created for undergraduate students, it aims to develop the kind of competencies, learning and evaluation skills that employers are looking for in talented new graduates.

Caroline Kateeba took modules in ‘Inside Employment; Investigation into Third Sector Careers’, ‘Experian Leadership Programme’ and ‘Career Planning Skills’. Lukeki Kaindama took the ‘Experian Leadership Scheme’, ‘Aim Higher Associates’ and ‘Student Ambassador Scheme’ modules, while Chimidi Nwosu completed the ‘Student Ambassador Scheme’, ‘Work Experience’ and ‘Career Planning’ Skills options.

Future Leaders: 100 of Britain’s Most Outstanding Black Students: All nominees must be of African or African Caribbean heritage, on course for a second-class upper or better and be doing something of merit outside their studies. Only final year or postgraduate students were eligible.

Judges picked a top 10, headed by Ssegawa-Ssekintu Kiwanuka, a Chemical Engineering PhD student from Cambridge, while the remaining 90 were listed by degree subject. The magazine will be distributed at every university and 1,000 sixth-form colleges across the country.

Story credits

More information is available from Hayley Williams, Nottingham Advantage Award Coordinator, The University of Nottingham at
Harry Waddle

Harry Waddle - Students Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2353 Location: University Park

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