Engineering undergraduates Akil Hashmi, Edwin Bahrami Balani, Matias Silva and Sanjan Das have been recognised by the University of Cambridge for their effort in helping to improve the learning experiences of their peers.
Akil's passion to improve access to Oxbridge is undoubtable: he trained himself in web development purely for this project. Just two years after foundation, 22,000 people have used the website, reaching 129 countries.Nomination.
Established by the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning, the Outstanding Student Contribution to Education Award (OSCEA) recognises and celebrates the contribution that students make to enhancing educational practices at the University through their voluntary or extracurricular activities.
Akil Hashmi has been announced the winner of the Access and Outreach category. He was nominated for his work in co-founding InsideUni – a student-led non-profit project that offers insider student tips on preparing for University interviews – with fellow student Tommy Gale (who has since graduated).
Akil’s nominator said: “Akil's passion to improve access to Oxbridge is undoubtable: he trained himself in web development purely for this project. Just two years after foundation, 22,000 people have used the website, reaching 129 countries.”
Akil was also nominated for his broader contributions to widening access, by “spearheading a series of initiatives to reach out to prospective students who are no longer able to attend Open Days and Summer Schools”. Read the nomination in full.
Edwin Bahrami Balani and Matias Silva have been announced the winners of the Innovative Practice category. They were nominated for their effort in rapidly deploying a new videoconferencing, teaching and collaboration platform in response to some of the University’s educational needs during the first lockdown.
Their nominator said: “Edwin and Matias, as volunteers for the Student-Run Computing Facility (SRCF), quickly built a videoconferencing, teaching and collaboration platform, SRCF Timeout, to serve the University's needs during the pandemic. The SRCF's small team of volunteers provides free computing services to all in the University, used by over 10,000 students, faculty and staff. SRCF Timeout offers teaching-specific features such as collaborative whiteboards, lecture recording and breakout rooms.” Read the nomination in full.
Sanjan Das has been Highly Commended in the Innovative Practice category alongside three other students who each received nominations relating to their joint work as part of a newly-formed student-run society, Cambridge MedTech Foundation.
The nominator said of Sanjan: “Sanjan Das pioneered a programme called MEDx at the University of Cambridge, supported by the Cambridge MedTech Foundation. This programme educated students on medical technology, an underrepresented field in the University, via a series of free talks that involved speakers from different backgrounds, from entrepreneurs to clinician-researchers, giving students a wide perspective on what the medical technology field involves. To engage students while facilitating their learning, he incorporated student-led presentations where students are encouraged to step forward to share their innovative ideas, promoting collaboration.” Read the nomination in full.
View the full list of the 2020 winners.