Student Humza’s journey to studying at Edge Hill’s Medical School is one of resilience, determination and perseverance.
Humza Muhammad, 20, is a Medicine with Foundation Year student, a course which is aimed at students from the North West of England who have the potential and aspiration to become doctors.
The Foundation Year is designed for talented students like Humza, whose background may mean it is less likely that they will be able to meet the academic requirements for direct entry.
After facing the initial setback of not achieving the grades he needed in 2019, Humza remained committed and made the decision to take a gap year to focus on his studies and gain work experience to support his application. He said:
“Although taking a year out wasn’t what I had originally planned, I think that year was really important and informative, and made me realise how much I really did want to study Medicine.”
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic meaning that he was unable to re-sit his A-Level exams last summer, Humza’s achieved grades from the year before secured him a place on Edge Hill’s Foundation Year programme. Humza added:
“Failure should be seen as an opportunity to grow and develop. I think most Medicine students are perfectionists by nature and sometimes you need to understand that it’s OK if you fall, what’s important is that you pick yourself up, learn from it and keep going,”
Humza and his family live in Manchester and are originally from Pakistan. While neither of his parents were educated in the UK, Humza believes that their support and motivation was key to his success.
“My parents were always motivating me to pursue my passions and whatever I wanted to do in life. Neither of my parents were educated in the UK or have studied in higher education but they were incredibly supportive of my decision to progress to university.
“I think because my parents are now living in a country where neither of them have been through the education system, they weren’t best equipped to give me guidance on how to approach my university application. I think for many students who are the first generation in their family to go to university, that can be a barrier when you don’t have contacts to go to for advice.”
Keen to help other students facing similar challenges, Humza supports the Medical School’s Widening Access to Medicine (WAM) programme, which is a series of free events designed to support local students, from diverse backgrounds, who have the ability and attributes to be successful in their application for a place in medical school. He said:
“The fact that Edge Hill’s Medical School is brand new really appealed to me because there are opportunities to leave a lasting impact that you wouldn’t have at other schools. As we’re one of the first cohorts to pass through the school, we’re the students who can set up the clubs, societies and traditions of the Medical School and be an active creator in that process, which is amazing.”