My name is Ashique Salim and I am currently pursuing Masters of Science in International Business at ARU Cambridge campus. I am a candidate running for the post of Vice President for the Department of Business and Law.
What sets me apart from others is my vast experience in the field of Business, having worked with major corporate companies as well as co-owning a business in India. I have had an experience of working within a few MNCs which enabled me to understand their strengths and due to my close observation; I have also noticed many flaws in the systems.
I stand today as a mature and patient candidate that is willing to listen to the voices in the campus has remained unheard and to help them overcome their hurdles irrespective of national and international students pursuing a course at ARU. As a student myself, I had come across various situations where I was unaware to find the right point of contact to solve issues that were related to the curriculum, as well as which personal ones. Initially, I faced difficulties finding my way through the campus, finding proper accommodation and in finding a part-time job to meet my expenses. I would like to take this opportunity to spread awareness that not all countries are as financially sound as the United Kingdom.
Most of international students require to take loans to complete their education and reach their dreams, some of which may be considered far-fetched by the public in general. It takes up multiple years to clear the debts if it was for the meager income made from their home countries. The 20 hours of legal work hours for international students may sometimes look unjustifiable in these circumstances. Hence, I would like to be the voice of those voiceless who have suffered endless hours of pain and hardship and are still focused on pursuing their education.
- Center for Academic and Professional Support
There are students of a vast range of experience and expertise studying within the university. The goals of professionals are bound to vary from those that have relatively lesser experience in a professional working environment. Hence, there shall be a support center that can guide both academically and professionally
- Quick response team
In many instances, especially during the pandemic, I came across cases where the reply from the university has been late which led to disheartenment in among the students. The queries of students have varied from academic, health and financial related queries, all of which needed to be given utmost importance. The delay in responses has led to issues with the completion of module-related assignments, mental issues, and financial concerns. All the above flaws shall be fixed by providing the students with the right point of contact and faster response.
- Access to cheaper accommodation and food
As described above, many students may not be within the financial reach to afford the university accommodation and food provided within the university. I would like to take the initiative to launch a partnership between university and property brokers which will enable students to find accommodation easier as it is one of the prime aspects for visa approval. Apart from shelter, food is also one of the main concerns when it comes to students. The students will be given locations and lists of places where they can find economic, food, and other basic supplies (including international food and necessities).
- An insight into Business Guidance and Startup programs
AREA (Anglia Ruskin Enterprise Academy) is an entity that has been running for many years within the university; however, the same has not been visible to the students and has not been of major reach. I will take the opportunity to strengthen this department that would allow bringing forward the budding entrepreneurs and innovators within the University. Seminars will be held on a regular basis to bring forward the ideas of those who otherwise stepped backward due to their lack of confidence in putting together their brilliant ideas.
- Mental Health Awareness and Counseling sessions
Over the past year, cases of depression have exponentially increased during the pandemic, being almost double from the previous year count. Many students have had to go through quarantine and stages of isolation due to the pandemic. This has had various effects as people have found it extremely difficult to even complete the smallest of tasks. Some of us have been made redundant and have struggled financially, while others have had to cope with health issues. These have affected most of us in various ways. Some of us had to overcome the stage of depression without any external support. Emergency calls to NHS have seen multiple times where automated messages have caused some of us to lose hope in reaching personal help. Counseling sessions shall be held at the university and active helplines shall be made visible to students so as to reach out and get help immediately in times of need.