We spoke to LLB Law student Kiran Ali about how the Benussi Bursary will support her during her studies.
"My name is Kiran Ali. I am a first year Law student at the University of Birmingham. I am very grateful to be awarded the Benussi Law Bursary. This will help me in many ways as I am the first person from my household in higher education. It will help me to buy a good laptop as mine is currently very old and doesn’t work as well any more. Therefore, the bursary will help me to get the equipment needed for my degree.
I chose the University of Birmingham for my studies because it is not only a nationally recognised university but a globally recognised university, which thus opens doors for many opportunities. The University itself offers more than just the degree, such as opportunities within CEPLER including pro bono and advocacy work, the Holdsworth Club and much more. This will enable me to put my knowledge into practise and will provide me with the experiences needed for becoming a solicitor. It was these extracurricular opportunities that the University offered which made me want to study law at the University of Birmingham more than any other university."
"I have found university life excellent up until now. This year has been extremely insightful in comparison to the last in that I am able to get the most out of my law degree by being able to attend live seminars and lectures, career events, workshops etc. I have taken a lot from this year. In-person is always more beneficial and I am grateful that this year I am able to make the most out of the resources given to me.
I have been joining in extra-curricular activities this year-round, such as attending CEPLER career lectures where I learned a lot in terms of how to make successful applications and think more seriously about employment opportunities. I am also part-taking in pro-bono this year and the bursary has helped me fund for the travel to and from these meetings. In addition, I am also the vice-president of the Absoc Committee at the University of Birmingham and as a result of this I have to frequently visit other universities, travel out of the city for conferences, attend meetings and the bursary has helped me to pay for those expenses.
Because of this bursary I never have to worry about my travel to and from university and never feel as if I am restricted from attending educational talks because of low funding. I am able to order extra books that I think is useful for my course. From the bursary I was able to buy myself a laptop and have everything I need for my time at the University of which I am extremely grateful.
I am really looking forward to the rest of this academic year in particular a module called Legal Solutions. This is quite different to the usual way of learning. It is to do with solving real-life problems faced by companies and, working as a group to solve them, I feel like this is very insightful and reflective of my future career where we would constantly have to solve client issues with other members of the team. This is something that I am really looking forward to in this semester.
The bursary will aid my future plans especially as I have applied to many job roles and summer vacation schemes which mean I need to buy more formal clothing that is required for these interviews. The bursary will help me fund the clothing required for these upcoming events and interviews including assessment days.
I would advise anyone considering applying to the A2B Scheme that it is definitely worthwhile and there is so much that is to benefit from the scheme itself. For example, the chance to get into a Russell Group University with the grade reduction scheme as well as continued mentoring support throughout the whole process. It is also extremely beneficial because it helps prepare one for university by indulging in an online study support module and completing a reflective account. This provides one with an insight of what life as a university student will be like. For example, I now have to write reflective accounts as part of my examination which is graded and forms a part of my overall university degree. So having done that at an early stage made the process easier for me. The programme also supports you financially and is a real missed opportunity if one does not apply."