The Equality Express: Fast-Tracking Inclusion in Universities
Passionate, motivated leaders with a genuine drive for equality and inclusion are a rare find, yet Fahad Ahmed shines as one of these exceptional individuals. Originally from Bangladesh, Fahad is currently pursuing a degree in business management at the University of Roehampton in London. His dedication extends beyond the classroom as he takes on multiple roles within the university, including serving as the president of his college (Southlands College), where he tirelessly represents and advocates for student interests.
One of Fahad's main missions as a student leader is to promote the inclusion of international students, who make up 65% of the college population, by ensuring they receive equal opportunities and that they can make the most of their university experience. In this episode of the Student Pulse podcast, we delve into Fahad Ahmed’s inspiring journey, exploring the transformative experiences that have shaped his perspective, and his unwavering commitment to building a future where equality and inclusion thrive.
As Fahad shared, championing equality and inclusion was not always a part of his story. Growing up surrounded by wealth and privilege, he was shielded from the hardships faced by others. A turning point in his life came when he attended a charity event focused on assisting street children. Witnessing their struggles and profound need opened Fahad’s eyes to a reality he had previously overlooked.
The event sparked a deep desire within him to make a difference and support those who are less fortunate. This included taking a bold step to dedicate all his savings to charitable causes, a decision that went against cultural norms surrounding wealth and fundraising in his community. Fahad also travelled to rural areas, actively listening to people's stories, and seeking to understand their needs in order to address inequalities and create change.
Fahad's journey took an even more meaningful turn when he moved to the United Kingdom as an international student. Suddenly, he found himself in an unfamiliar environment, without the comforts and support systems he had always known. Struggling to adapt and overcome language and cultural barriers, he experienced firsthand the challenges faced by those lacking power and a sense of belonging. The process of rebuilding his life offered Fahad a unique perspective—one that allowed him to connect deeply with others and propelled him further on his mission to advocate for equality and inclusion.
At university, Fahad believes that one of the primary hurdles international students face is a lack of cultural awareness and understanding that the university experience can be much more than they imagine. Many students mistakenly believe that the university solely revolves around attending lectures, seminars, and completing coursework. However, Fahad believes that university should also be about learning from the environment, making connections with friends from all corners of the globe, and pursuing their aspirations. In terms of equality and diversity, this lack of awareness becomes a fundamental challenge as international students may not realise the support available to them or understand how to advocate for themselves.
Having spearheaded over 170 events at his university, dedicated to fostering equality and inclusivity among students, Fahad offers the following valuable pointers as inspiration for universities seeking to emulate his efforts:
In the pursuit of fostering inclusion and equality, StudentPulse brings a transformative approach to student engagement and support in universities. By harnessing the power of microsurveys and real-time data analytics, StudentPulse empowers universities to actively engage their students throughout their university journey, encouraging them to voice their opinions and provide valuable insights for continuous improvement.
With StudentPulse, universities can also consolidate access to all available support and resources for international students in one centralised platform, streamlining the process of seeking assistance and automatically matching students’ needs with the appropriate resources.
To learn more about StudentPulse and how it can help revolutionise your students’ experience, reach out to our team here or click here to listen to the full version of our podcast with Fahad on fostering an equal and inclusive university experience!