I am Barza Afzal, a general surgeon and a first year student in Masters in General Surgery, looking to continue making an impact for current and future students in University of Edinburgh and beyond, as NUS UK delegate. In my medical college, I was women student representative of my session. My role was to provide voice, advocacy and support to all women students to ensure that they are heard and and to abolish any discriminatory behavior towards them. I was also elected as a captain of sports team of my college. Additionally I am incharge of all academic and teaching activities in my current hospital. These roles have not only polished my leadership skills, but have also helped me to demonstrate my team working and communication skills to negotiate and drive policy change.
With ongoing pandemic, lockdown and most courses running online only, there is scarce social interaction. I will advocate for better mental healthcare services. I am passionate about working towards eliminating the stigma towards mental health issues. I will make sure that any student having mental health issues, or anyone who wants to help someone with mental health issues is provided maximal support and guidance regarding all aspects of their lives: mental and physical health, finance and education.
The pandemic has also resulted in students suffering from loneliness and lack of sense of community. I will promote online platforms where students can interact, socialize virtually, make friends and find the community they can relate with. Lack of in person teaching and university/college environment can be somehow compensated by promoting an online global community of students who can find like minded people to interact with.
Being a female and international student I appreciate how our university is working towards eliminating racism and sexual harassment. I will continue to promote effective strategies to discourage such behaviour. I will promote safe environment and equal opportunities for all students above the boundaries of race, religion, ethnicity or financial background.
I will focus on education and training resources for all the students to live a sustainable lifestyle and leave minimal carbon footprint. The extremes of weather changes are destroying lives across the globe and education regarding such issues is mandatory to deal with the problem at its base.
With ongoing pandemic, lots of students are suffering financially and struggling to pay their tuition fees. I would advocate for better and alternate ways of paying student fees, including funds, loans and scholarships. So that education is affordable and accessible to all and financial burden should never be the reason not to have access to higher education.
Please vote for me. I hope that my aims and intentions complement your vision of NUS UK delegate.