Issue date: 13 October 2004

ISSUE DATE: 13/10/04

Sisters Nureen and Anela Naz, who are both studying English at the University of the West of England, have been awarded prizes for their outstanding performance.

Nureen Naz has been awarded the Ede and Ravenscroft Prize for outstanding personal achievement and Anela Naz has been awarded the Kate Fullbrook Memorial Prize. Both sisters are registered blind.

Robin Jarvis, Reader in English, nominated Nureen Naz for the Ede and Ravenscroft Prize. He said, “To most of us it would be unimaginable to do a degree in English as a blind student, since it’s a degree that revolves around private reading and the close analysis of written texts. Merely accessing the literature is a problem in itself. But Nureen has taken complete responsibility for her learning right from the start, to make sure she had the same opportunities that other students take for granted.

“She was the most conscientious and best-prepared of any student I taught last year, made a full contribution to the course, and got a good grade. Hers is just the kind of ‘outstanding personal achievement’ that this prize is meant to celebrate.”

Nureen has been awarded a cheque for £1,000.

Nureen, who is 24, says she was determined to make the most of the course and from the start took responsibility for getting the help she needed, “I am so delighted to get this award. At the start of the course I contacted the Disability Resource Centre at UWE to tell them about the help and resources I needed. Then I contacted the tutors to let them know about my needs in lectures. Initially there was a lot of hard work setting things up and making sure all the texts were available in a format I could manage. I have also made a big effort to contribute to the seminars because I want to make the most of all the opportunities I have here. I am planning to do a Masters degree so the prize money will be set aside for that!”

Nureen’s sister Anela, who is 26, completed her degree and obtained a 2:1 in English. She has been was awarded the Kate Fullbrook Prize for outstanding academic achievement and will receive her award at a graduation ceremony in Bristol Cathedral on 2 November.

Anela says, “Receiving this prize gives me a great feeling of completion. I was ecstatic when I realised I had a 2:1 but to get this prize is confirmation that other people have recognised my efforts and my achievement. My parents are so proud of both of us – they have always given us the courage and confidence to achieve what we put our minds to. This carried us through secondary, further and higher education. I was also helped by the DRC at UWE and by library staff who helped me find the resources I needed. Now that I have completed my degree I would like to work as a journalist and I am now trying to find work in that field.”

The Kate Fullbrook Prize is being awarded for the first time. It has been established to commemorate Professor Kate Fullbrook, a leading academic from UWE, who died at the age of 52 in July 2003.

Anela and her sister live in Stoke Bishop in Bristol with their parents and three younger brothers.


Editor’s notes

The Ede and Ravenscroft Prize is awarded for personal achievement and reflects the University’s mission to widen educational opportunity. It is not simply a prize for ‘best student’ in academic terms, and relevant factors can include ‘overcoming disadvantages concerned with home circumstances, disability, health or other matters’ and ‘contribution to the life of the University’. This prize is awarded to a student not in the final year of his or her course.

The Kate Fullbrook prize is awarded for outstanding academic achievement, and again this is not construed too narrowly. High achievement can be measured against a range of criteria, including initial entry standard and overcoming significant personal difficulties. This prize is awarded to a student who has completed his or her degree.

Jpeg visual of Nureen and Anela available from the Press Office.

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