Published on 03 May 2023
Two medical students from the University of Sunderland will be part of history this weekend after being gifted tickets to King Charles III’s coronation concert.
The concert will be staged and broadcast live at Windsor Castle in London on Sunday (May 7).
Hafsah Malik and Mahmuda Hoque, who are both studying Medicine at Sunderland, will be among the thousands of spectators after receiving tickets in recognition of their hard work, dedication and achievements during their studies.
Second year student Hafsah said: “I feel absolutely thrilled to be nominated to attend the coronation event in recognition of my efforts and attainments at Sunderland’s medical school. This is a historic event and a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I am really looking forward to enjoying the positive energy and atmosphere and being able to enjoy the moment with everyone.”
As Junior Student Voice Representative, Hafsah actively works with the medical school and the students to feedback information about the course while ensuring students’ suggestions and ideas are taken on board. She attends various meetings, including the General Medical Council (GMC) and chairs the Student/Staff Liaison Committee.
Hafsah is also a student ambassador at the University and is currently training as a first aider for St John Ambulance.
Mahmuda, who is in her third year, is currently on placement at Sunderland Royal Hospital where she works four days a week getting hands-on experience in patient care. She is also a student ambassador representing the University when she visits local primary schools to talk to pupils about medicine and the University’s medical school.
On being chosen to attend the concert, Mahmuda said: “I felt shocked initially, but it gave me a boost to receive this recognition from the medical staff for my hard work and contribution to the medical school.
“I am very excited for this once in a lifetime experience and to be part of such a historical event – potentially something I can tell my future family one day, if I have one!”
Hafsah and Mahmuda, who are both from London, are the first members of their families to study medicine at university.
So, what brought them to Sunderland?
“The massive range of facilities such as the anatomy lab, mock hospital wards and brilliantly taught lectures,” Hafsah explained.
“Medical students are taught using a variety of methods, such as through lectures, practicals, essay writing, group projects and cadaveric anatomy. This makes our learning more exciting and stimulating.
“The University also provides lots of academic, pastoral support and careers advice to support students on their career pathway.”
Mahmuda added: “I come from a background where my parents did not have access to higher education, so I am very grateful to my parents for supporting and investing in me and helping me attain my dream of becoming a doctor one day.
“I am also grateful to the University of Sunderland for opening doors for people within Widening Participation knowing that medicine is a very competitive and tough degree to get an offer in.”
Professor Scott Wilkes, Head of School of Medicine and Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at Sunderland, said: “I am delighted that both Hafsah and Mahmuda have been given the opportunity to attend the King’s coronation concert. They are both wonderful ambassadors for the University’s medical school, going above and beyond the expectations required to succeed.
“They both demonstrate leadership skills and champion our medical school to all our prospective applicants who have the talent but may not be given the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in a medical degree and the medical profession. They epitomise our approach, being from non-traditional backgrounds themselves as was I.”