Supporting students from BAME backgrounds

Sumaiya is in the second year of her Architecture undergraduate degree at Newcastle University and is the recipient of the Building Futures Bursary. This is Sumaiya’s story.

Starting my undergraduate degree last year in the middle of a global pandemic was really challenging.

I spent a lot of my first year going back and forth between my family home in Burnley and my accommodation in Newcastle, trying to settle into online learning whilst discovering my new city at the same time.

The Building Futures Bursary made the difficult situation caused by Covid-19 a lot less stressful. I didn't have to worry about paying rent for my accommodation...and I could travel to access facilities on campus when restrictions allowed.

Sumaiya Aziz, Building Futures Bursary recipient
Second year, Architecture student

I was able to gain some work experience in London over the summer thanks to the bursary too. I attended an event in my first year to meet donors to the bursary, including architecture firms, and they made me aware of the opportunities available. Without the bursary, I never would have made this connection and would have struggled to take an unpaid placement, so it's been a big help.

During my first trip to Newcastle, I got to meet people at the forefront of architectural research and that really inspired me to study here. Attending lectures from academics who wrote the books that inspired me to study Architecture in the first place was amazing, and their passion is infectious.

Learning about the way that households and dwellings have changed over the years, and particularly the influence of colonisation on house design, is something that really interests me because of my Pakistani heritage. I've had the opportunity to explore this in my degree already, and it's something I'd like to maybe pursue in the future.

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