Michael Sargent Bursary Awards 2022-23Thursday 16th November 2023
The Bursary Award was established in memory of Michael Sargent who played a pivotal role in the development of OCNs and was also one of the longest-serving OCN London moderators.
Michael’s contributions to our work over the years were considerable and varied. He was a Trustee on our Board, a member of our Quality Committee, he attended countless OCN London validation panels over a 25-year period and was an External Moderator for 15 years for programmes ranging from Basic Skills to Access to HE.
Michael is remembered not just for his professional expertise but also for his kindness, his wonderful sense of humour and his genuine belief in and support for enabling adults to return to learning and discover their true potential.
It is extremely fitting that we acknowledge his lifelong commitment to widening participation in education with this bursary award.
The Bursary Award celebrates the achievements of Access to HE learners in two categories:
• Outstanding Academic Achievement
• Outstanding Commitment to Study
Outstanding Academic Achievement
WINNER: Vlad Starchenko, Access to HE Diploma (Engineering), City and Islington College
Vlad impressed his tutors from the beginning with his dedication and drive. His tutor said,
Vlad is an extraordinary individual whose journey and accomplishments are truly inspiring. His outstanding academic achievements, particularly in the face of adversity and personal challenges, demonstrate a level of excellence and dedication that is rarely seen.
Vlad’s pursuit of knowledge, his exceptional quality of work, and his commitment to helping others make him an outstanding candidate for the “Outstanding Academic Achievement” award, and I’m sure that he’ll continue to excel wherever the future takes him next.
Vlad has now gone on to study Games Programming at Ravensbourne University London.
RUNNER UP: James Bateson, Access To HE Diploma (Science), Barnet and Southgate College
James’ tutors were impressed by the passion and focus he showed throughout the course. They said,
James first did his A-levels, he didn’t achieve the grades needed to get him into a university that he wanted. He worked in Retail for 9 years and realized that it wasn’t for him, he decided to change path. The Access Course gave him a second chance to get into Uni for a degree in an area that he is passionate about, enabling him to follow a career path in Neuroscience.
He submitted outstanding and well documented assignments always showing an excellent understanding of the topics covered in ‘The Mole concept’ and ‘Organic Chemistry – Aliphatic compounds’ units. Detailed explanation of the concepts showed how comfortable he was in chemistry. His written exams were thoroughly explained and logically presented.
James is now studying Neuroscience at Manchester University.
Outstanding Commitment to Study
WINNER: Priya Patel, Access To HE Diploma (Science), Barnet and Southgate College
Priya’s tutors were impressed with her determination and perseverance throughout the course. Her tutor said,
When she started her course, she was overwhelmed and was not sure she was going to be successful in the Access course and especially in chemistry, a subject she last studied about 15 years ago. Her first scores in chemistry were not great, but because of her commitment and resilience she picked up very quickly. She always acted on feedback and one-to-one discussions she had from her teachers and produced excellent work. She passed from Merit in the first assignment in chemistry to Distinction in the subsequent assignments. Her chemistry teacher has reported that she produced an outstanding assignment in her last Chemistry unit because of her commitment and dedication to her studies. She was by far the most improved student of her cohort.
Priya is now studying Speech and language Therapy at City, University of London
RUNNER UP: Thamina Rahman, Access To HE Diploma (Engineering), City and Islington College
Thamina’s tutors were impressed with her perseverance and dedication throughout the course. Her tutors said,
Thamina’s journey on her Access to Engineering diploma was nothing short of remarkable. Her dedication, resilience, and unwavering commitment to her studies not only allowed her to overcome numerous challenges, but also set an inspiring example for others.
Thamina’s journey began with an initial setback, as she joined the course as a late enroller around a month later than her peers. Despite this delay, she exhibited an unmatched work ethic, and although she had to work so much harder than the rest of her classmates to catch up, she ultimately achieved outstanding results in her Access to Engineering diploma, achieving far more Distinctions than she believed possible.
Thamina is now studying Engineering at Queen Mary University of London