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Father of International human rights advocate joins college students for award-winning cultural experience

Students at Matthew Boulton College experienced a truly inspiring celebration when were joined by Ziauddin Yousafzai – father of Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate – at their Student Star of the Month awards (Friday November 15).

The event, which was held to coincide with a student-led Cultural Exchange Day, highlighted the huge achievements of learners – many of which originate from around the world.

Mr Yousafzai, co-founder of the Malala Fund which invests in education programmes to provide support to enable girls to gain access into schools “so that they can reach their full potential” and author of “Let Her Fly”, presented all nominated students with certificates and a gift. The winner also received a specially designed plaque to reward their accomplishments.

The college’s annual Cultural Exchange Day, which took place alongside the awards, is a student-led event to raise awareness of the traditions and practices of other cultures in the college and around the world.

Among other things, the vibrant day showcased food, fashion, music and performances by college learners based on their cultural heritage.

Speaking of the special event, which attracted more than 200 people Mr Yousafzai said:

“It was an honour and pleasure to come to this amazing institution. The quality of education is amazing at the college and is a true reflection of Birmingham – in terms of diversity and cultural difference.

“The students inspired me and made me proud to be a brummie!”

The student awards and the student Cultural Exchange Day are important dates in the college’s diary.The awards seek to recognise the hard work, determination and success of students – many of which have been chosen by their tutors for going the extra mile. The Cultural Exchange Day is an opportunity for students, including ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages), to highlight and promote their cultural heritage.

Among other things, as well as speaking about the importance of education, Ziauddin spoke about Malala’s experiences, passions and what Birmingham means to them both.

Jan Myatt, Assistant Principal at Matthew Boulton College – part of Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet) said:

“We think that it is very important to celebrate our student success at every opportunity. Furthermore, combining two significant occasions is a great chance for us to showcase student accomplishments, whilst also promoting cultural diversity and inclusion around the college and in the world at large.”

“Malala is a perfect role model to our students as a whole within BMet, as is her father. People around the world know and admire Malala for being a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest recipient of a Nobel Prize. Likewise, Mr Yousafzai is an education activist in his own right.”

Birmingham Metropolitan College has a modern and progressive approach to student development and enrichment. Events like the student awards further highlight such importance and focus for the further education institution, alongside the desire to promote student success and achievement. 

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