More in common — Jo Cox Studentship in Refugee and Migration Studies
In June 2016 we were shocked and saddened by the death of Jo Cox MP. Jo joined Pembroke College in 1992. Following her tragic murder, the students, staff, alumni and friends of Pembroke joined forces to raise money to fund the study of refugees and migration, to honour Jo and her passionate advocacy on behalf of those without a voice.
They held jumble and book sales, sponsored each other to cycle from Cambridge to Oxford, and competed in a virtual rowing race the equivalent of the same distance. In memory of an outstanding Cambridge alumna, the College united and raised £104,446 — enough money to fund a postgraduate scholarship. This included a generous gift of £60,00 from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
In 2017, Matt Mahmoudi was awarded the first Jo Cox PhD Studentship in Refugee and Migration Studies. He is investigating digital boundaries to socioeconomic life for urban refugees and migrant populations. His research asks whether digital tools developed to “integrate” refugees reinforce or alleviate inequalities along lines of labour, housing, and information access.
Matt comments: “Motivated by my family’s experience, I am committed to ensuring that people forced to leave their countries of origin are provided with the foundations needed to thrive in their new homes, free of discrimination and exploitation.”
“The PhD programme at Cambridge has been an incredible springboard for pursuing critical research opportunities in the field of technology and human rights; opportunities I never thought possible.”
At the recent Cambridge Guild of Benefactors ceremony, Matt spoke about his experiences to a captivated audience.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope said: “Matt will achieve his doctorate, able to devote the requisite hours to study and research, not worrying about how to pay his bills. Those hours of study and research — his Cambridge education — will pay off, not only for Matt but for the countless people who benefit from his efforts, now and throughout his career.”
About Pembroke College
Pembroke College, founded in 1347 by Marie de St Pol, Countess of Pembroke, is proud of its traditions and of its intimate yet diverse community, committed to welcoming students of exceptional talent regardless of their social, cultural or educational background, and giving them the benefit of contact with a large and distinguished Fellowship. Pembroke thrives on conversations and prides itself on its strong tutorial system, supporting students as they pursue their chosen academic paths and develop their intellectual potential to the full.