This July, in amongst our graduating Class of 2023 were 14 graduates who benefitted from the University’s Ignite Programme.
Many of those graduating from the Ignite Programme this summer have already landed graduate jobs in their chosen field. Having secured their degrees, students from the programme are preparing to take their next steps as: a trainee solicitor at a top 20 UK law firm, a trainee clinical scientist, a Goldman Sachs graduate trainee, an NHS midwife and a Bat Support Surveyor.
The programme, fully funded by alumni and supporters including Outstanding Alumni Award winner, Steve Dulake, has helped these bright and motivated students to achieve their potential. Luke, one of the students who has been supported by Ignite left the programme this year after securing a prestigious Wolfson intercalated award.
Wolfson intercalated awards comprise funding administered by the Royal College of Physicians for outstanding undergraduate students who are likely to pursue a medical research career. These awards enable students to take a one-year academic course part-way through their medical degree.
Before embarking on his intercalated year, Luke wrote to the Ignite team to thank them for the support he has received.
Dear Ignite team (past and present),
I wanted to write a letter to you after my exams to express my great thanks for everything. The programme has been life-changing for me in a number of ways. I will start with the financial bursary. I don’t like to talk about the money too much because Ignite is more than that. However, the financial help has gone a long way towards allowing me to take an intercalated year out of medicine to pursue my research interests. Based on the NHS bursary, I’m not sure I would have been able to do this without the Ignite bursary. So thank you so much for that.
My first year internship was a blast. It was a job which improved my confidence in a myriad of ways. It also opened my eyes to widening participation amongst mature students and granted me the opportunity to try and change things for the better at university. Contributing to initiatives for new mature students was a really rewarding experience.
The workshops provided me with a social outlet that I needed whilst at university. As a mature student, it can be difficult to fit in and make friendships. I enjoyed getting to know other students from widening participation backgrounds and working together in the workshops, discussing and learning about important topics. I have to mention the end of summer social events as well. They have been fantastic. It’s so nice to see everyone at the end of the academic year and catch up. I hope you keep that going for the future Ignite students. It was one of the highlights for me.
I respect how honest the Ignite team is and how you genuinely want to improve the programme. You always seek our opinions and feedback, and I think that is one of the key aspects of running a successful programme like Ignite. I know there have been a few staff changes in the Ignite team, but the ethos and consistency has remained throughout and I think that is testament to the team, past and present.
So thanks for everything. I am sure I will see you around through the next few years. I will keep in touch and I hope that Ignite will carry on for years to come. It’s been a pleasure! The contents of this letter is also true for the generous donors.
Read more about the Ignite Programme, and find out how you can support more students, like Luke.