Imad Salih: “Without this opportunity, I wouldn’t be here”

Imad Salih: “Without this opportunity, I wouldn’t be here”

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    Imad Salih

Changing lives with the Rajagopalan Get In Scholarship.

Having the access and opportunity of attending a University like this is an incredible part of what I would consider social mobility and the opportunity for personal development.

Imad Salih

“Without this opportunity, I wouldn’t be here.”

Imad Salih’s short and to-the-point answer encompassed exactly what it means to be a recipient of the Rajagopalan Get In Scholarship. 

“I don’t think it would have been tenable to accept my place here without the backing of the funding so as you can probably imagine, it is quite a big deal,” continues the 24-year-old.  

“It is really important to me, with respect to personal and academic development, to be able to capitalise on this opportunity.” 

Get In Cambridge, for which Cambridge alumnus Supraj Rajagopalan (St John's 1996) recently donated the largest contribution to date, £1million, aims to increase the number of students from historically under-represented ethnic minority communities at Cambridge, in order to become representative of UK society, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.  

Imad is studying an MPhil in Development Studies at Fitzwilliam College and is one of the students who has been able to achieve the aspiration of studying at Cambridge because of the scholarship. 

“I think, as a society, we generally aspire and do not really follow through with some notions of meritocracy,” says Imad. 

“Having the access and opportunity of attending a University like this and the resources that come with that, particularly the teachers and the other students that are here is an incredible part of what I would consider social mobility and the opportunity for personal development."

“The scholarship enables that, and, in my particular instance, it would have been unfeasible to get the experience I’m going through at the moment without it.   

“Taking that out to the broader scale, it is about finances not being a hindrance to one's personal development and attaining their full potential.

“It should not be an inhibitor because I do believe, in the long-term, it is for the well-being of society - and that is just a personal predisposition - making sure that the brightest and the best have more opportunities that can help them address the issues that are facing the world."

“That is on the grand scale, and I can’t tell you what I’m personally going to do with my degree and whether I will be able to address any of those challenges, but on the grand scale, that is what I see Scholarships as being.” 

Imad initially did a BA in Economics and International Relations at Sussex University but wanted to pursue that field further at Cambridge, focusing on the economic process by which countries transform and develop. 

His interest is in the underlying politics and economics that define that process and whether it can be recreated and can be applied in the global south to see how the state and the private sector interact so that the economy can grow.     

“I have a lot of fun doing it,” he explains. “It integrates a lot of things I’m passionate about, which are economics, politics, and a bit of history.     

“It really explains a lot of the transformation that is happening across the globe at the moment. We’re constantly covering things like the rise of China, the under-development of Africa, it really gives you a great macro understanding of why the world is at where it’s at, and I just enjoy obtaining that understanding.” 

Imad’s area of study also fits in with the vision of Get In Cambridge, which extends beyond Cambridge. 

By helping to increase the numbers of undergraduates and postgraduates at Cambridge from under-represented ethnic minority communities, Get In Cambridge aims to improve social mobility, and in the longer term will help to address the broader societal issue of minority ethnic under-representation across the UK’s major employers. 

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You can support Get In Cambridge by donating online, or to discuss your philanthropic goals, please contact:

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Nathaniel Wright

Associate Director — Student Support

nrfw2@cam.ac.uk

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