A high achieving student at Leeds Beckett University is celebrating after being awarded a £1,000 scholarship and mentorship.
35-year-old Fatemeh Amirkamali, a second year student from Alwoodley, has received the fifth annual Professor Bligh Scholarship.
The Speech and Language Therapy student, who was born in Tehran, is the first person in her family to go to university. She was selected for the accolade based on her academic merit, enthusiasm and innovation in her studies.
Fatemeh said: “I feel very much honoured and humbled to have received this award.
“I do understand that it is very competitive, so winning the award meant a lot both to me and the Speech and Language Therapy team.
“As I am a mature student who is working, this scholarship will provide me with financial security and enable me to focus more on my course. I am extremely pleased that I will be mentored with Professor Bligh over the coming years as well. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.”
The scholarship was established in 2012 by Professor Donald Bligh, who graduated in Teacher Training from Leeds Beckett University in 1958.
Professor Bligh believes that universities are integral to teaching knowledge, but also creating new knowledge and new interpretations of old knowledge by use of the imagination and then testing ideas by research and intellectual criticism.
In addition to the £1,000 prize, Fatemeh will receive mentorship from Professor Bligh to help her take her ideas further and develop appropriate study methods to do so.
Professor Bligh commented: “The scholarship was founded on my passionate belief that universities should be places where there is freedom of thought and where knowledge is discovered, developed or created.
“This may be achieved in many different ways such as; developing new methods of enquiry, deliberately associating new ideas that would not normally be connected, challenging assumptions, interpreting experiments or feelings in new contexts, letting one’s imagination go into fantasy, positive and negative criticism and so on.”