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13 October 2022

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Black History Month: St Hugh’s first Lady Ademola scholarship holder

We were delighted to welcome our first Lady Ademola scholarship holder in 2021, Ndume Ibrahimu, who read for a Master of Studies in Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics and has now successfully completed the course. Ndume has returned home to the Democratic Republic of Congo and intends to apply for a doctoral programme. Ndume recounts he time at St Hugh’s below:

“My experience of studying at the University of Oxford as a student at St Hugh’s College has been enriching in many regards. First, the College, through its gardens and its well-maintained environment offers a beautiful sight. A look at the college’s environment always offered me a spectacle of peace and beauty.

Besides, St Hugh’s College is a scientifically-attractive environment. With students from different domains of studies and research, one has a great opportunity to hear from other people and to benefit from not only in terms of knowledge but also of experience. For me, life at St Hugh’s is a perpetual activity of learning and development of experience; all activities are geared towards that and St Hugh’s is organised to make this easy.

The College organises different social events, which is intended to encourage students to actively participate to community life. At St Hugh’s College, everything is planned so as everyone finds themselves part of everything that directly concerns them. This academic year, I had the opportunity to participate in two literature-related contests. I also participated in different social and academic events organised by the Middle Common Room (MCR). Academic events organised in the College generally inspired my work.

St Hugh’s College is a good choice, not only for the very few points I have mentioned here, but principally because it offers all human material resources for the student to develop their full potential, scientifically and in several other regards, depending on their interests. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to spend an academic year in this vibrant environment as the Lady Ademola scholar; it is an experience that has taught me a considerable number of things, most of which I will certainly never forget. At St Hugh’s College, and at the University of Oxford in general, you meet the world and this inevitably shapes your view of the world.”

The Lady Ademola Project, launched in Hilary Term 2020 supports students and scholars of Black, African, or Caribbean heritage

Kofoworola Ademola (née Moore) (1913–2002) arrived at St Hugh’s College in 1932 to study English and in 1935 became the first Black African woman to achieve a degree at Oxford. Lady Ademola, as Kofoworola would become, was a lifelong advocate for women’s education and social reform—hence this project, which is intended to keep her legacy alive in the new millennium.

St Hugh’s College has developed a set of activities inspired by her achievements and aimed at increasing access as well as meaningful participation in the life of the College for Black, African, or Caribbean heritage scholars and students. These activities include the annual Lady Ademola Lecture; a senior Visiting Fellowship; and a graduate student scholarship. Please click here for more information on these activities.


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