Gowrie Care helps student with Asperger’s towards top academic accolade
The hard work and dedication of a Dundee based student was recognised at a special ceremony held in the city when he was awarded the Dean’s Medal.
Iqbal Mohammad, who recently graduated from the University of Dundee with an honours degree in Scots Law, was awarded the rare accolade by Alan Page, the Dean of the University’s Law School.
On receiving the medal, Iqbal said: “I am delighted to have received the Dean’s Medal from the Law School at the University of Dundee.
“It was completely unexpected because to my knowledge I was just getting my head down and getting on with the work, not realizing that the academic and teaching staff were noticing all the hard work. My parents are also understandably proud of me getting the Dean’s Medal as well.”
Professor Alan page, Dean of the University’s School of Law, said: “My colleagues were unanimous in their praise of Iqbal’s determination and hard work in overcoming his challenges. The Dean’s medal is a fitting recognition of his achievement.”
Iqbal, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, has been supported through his university career by the Dundee based charity Gowrie Care, which is part of the Hillcrest Group.
Damian McGowan, managing director of Gowrie Care, said: “Everyone at Gowrie Care is absolutely delighted for Iqbal – he has done exceptionally well in his studies and is set to excel in his future career.
“For someone with Asperger’s Syndrome lectures and tutorials can be very intimating, causing them to draw into themselves and not fully interact to the best of their ability.
“The support we provide can take some of this pressure off students and allow them to get the most out of their education.
“Iqbal is a real success story and his extraordinary achievements embellish the work we do in colleges and universities across Tayside, Angus and Perthshire.”
Iqbal, who graduated in June, hopes to carry on studying Law at the University of Dundee by undertaking a Masters course in International Criminal Justice & Human Rights. After completing his Masters, Iqbal hopes to complete a Doctorate in Law with a view to becoming a Legal Academic.
Gowrie Care’s Student Support Service, an Autism Accredited Service, helps people with a range of disabilities to enter further education and to make the most of their studies by offering support packages which are tailored to each student’s needs.
Iqbal was not the only graduate who has benefited from Gowrie Care’s service throughout their studies – also graduating this year were Gowrie Care supported students Kirsty Goldie and Patrick Millan.
Kirsty, who completed a BSC (Hons) in Web Design at Abertay University in June, was support by Gowrie Care during the final 2 years of her degree.
The Student Support Service supported Kirsty with note taking, with staff taking notes during lectures which they would type up and email to Kirsty, allowing her to overcome obstacles to her learning.
Patrick, who also graduated from Abertay in June, was also supported with note taking when he studied for his BSC (Hons) in Web Design.
In addition to the scribe support he received during exams and the support Gowrie Care provided to help him organise his work, Patrick was also supported throughout the day while at university to help manage the day to day things that he may have struggled with due to being on the autistic spectrum.
It is estimated that over 695,000 people in the UK may have autism however there is no register or exact count kept. For people with autism, college and university can present challenges not facing your average student.
Caroline Brown said: “Around half of our students are on the autism spectrum and many of them can struggle in big groups such as lectures or tutorials, this is where the Student Support Service can help by providing a support network that facilitates positive learning.”
Gowrie Care’s Student Support Service currently supports 74 students, who have a range of needs, to attend college and university in Angus, Dundee and Perth.