‘Read! In the name of your Lord who created (all that exists). He created man from a clinging form (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! Your Lord is the Most Bountiful One who taught by (means of) the pen, who taught man what he did not know’
-Surah Al- Alaq, verses 1-5
Acquiring beneficial knowledge via a robust education has been greatly emphasized in Islam with many references, all but not limited to the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) being “Read”. Despite the importance, UK Muslims are under represented in higher education. The 2011 census data showed that only 24% of UK Muslims had achieved a university qualification, lower than the national average of 27%. The data also showed that unemployment was almost double the national average of 4% indicating that access to the labour market for British Muslims is worryingly low. In another study by Professor Anthony Heath of Oxford University, found that Muslims in Britain are the most deprived religious group across ethnicity. All of these facts combined paint an extremely precarious future for the next generation of Muslims in the UK, who not only face poor socio-economic mobility but will also find it harder to enter the labour market.
Young Muslim Ascent is here to change the tide. A not-for-profit mentoring programme, which aims to bridge the gap between our community’s poor access to education and the country’s most prestigious universities. Admission into Russell Group universities amongst minorities, particularly Muslims, is extremely low; part of this is a result of poor information services within the Muslim community which do not equip students with an understanding of the UCAS application process.
The tried and tested method of one-to-one mentoring is being employed to enable the talented young Muslims in our community to achieve their potential. The scheme is completely free and all of the mentors are volunteers. While it is important to seek help from your parents and teachers, their advice may be limited because they do not have experience in the course you’d like to study or even an understanding of how the UCAS system works. All mentors will have studied at one of the UK’s top universities and will be able to provide credible advice on what works and what doesn’t, in order to become a successful university applicant. The objective of mentoring will also span beyond the scope of a university application; it will give mentees an insight into careers after university and a glimpse into university life.
Whether you are applying to university or you are a current/past student who would like to give back by mentoring, please do sign up via the link below!
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”
– Surah Taha verse 114