Final-year Staffordshire Law student Naz Khan has secured a Major Scholarship worth more than £10,000 to help fund a post-graduate Masters of Law (LL.M.) at Durham University.
The Masters Scholarship, which covers the full cost of tuition fees, was awarded to Naz by the Aziz Foundation. This is a charitable foundation that supports British Muslims with unique leadership qualities to achieve their potential and make a positive contribution to society. Only 50 of these scholarships are made available. Naz Khan is the first student from the West-Midlands region, first Staffordshire University Alumni to receive such a scholarship and the foundation’s first legal scholar.
“I am delighted to have broken new ground, there is something special about being the first person to achieve something unprecedented. I may be the first, but I won’t be the last, I hope it will serve as an inspiration, paving the way for future students”.
The Aziz Foundation assesses scholarship applications against four key criteria: academic ability; motivation to help communities; potential as a leader; and personal qualities such as self-reliance, independence, integrity and reliability.
“My time here has enabled me to grow as a person and develop many key skills. I will always be a Staffordshire Alumni; I’d like to return in some capacity and share the knowledge I have gained with other students.”
Naz was interviewed in London by a panel comprising of three officers. The 20-minute interview included questions on his motivation for pursuing a career in law, his experiences of helping communities and his plans on how to finance his Masters. He said: “The interview questions were mostly personal, a way of getting to know me. They asked what areas of law I wanted to go into. I had written on my application form that I have considered becoming a legal advocate upon completion of my Masters and wish to pursue a doctorate in the future.”
Despite being caught off-guard by a question asking what he would change about the law and why, Naz drew confidence from his experiences at Staffordshire University of delivering presentations in Constitutional Law and Human Rights Law, and from his active participation in seminars. Naz believes these experiences helped develop his public speaking style and skills, and on the day of his interview, helped control his nerves: “I realised it is best to be myself, demonstrate why I am suitable for the scholarship and most importantly what I can bring to the table”.
Naz’s interest in law is driven by his compassion for the adversity communities face and desire to help individuals who are unable to afford legal representation. “All people, rich or poor should be entitled to legal representation of the highest quality. I am very grateful to be awarded a scholarship by an organisation that shares my vision.”
Reflecting on his experiences, Naz encourages all students to take initiative and apply for scholarships. “Scholarships like these are about more than just funding, they demonstrate to employers that you are an individual of good character and capable of proving your worth”.
Naz will begin a Masters course at Durham University in September. However, he one day hopes to return to Staffordshire University. “My time here has enabled me to grow as a person and develop many key skills. I will always be a Staffordshire Alumni; I’d like to return in some capacity and share the knowledge I have gained with other students.”