From education to employment

Bursary Support Paves The Way For DCG Student’s Medical Aspirations

An A Level student at Derby College Group (DCG) has been awarded a coveted bursary to support her ambitions to study Medicine at university.

Rabina Bulakoti (19) from Littleover has studied at DCG since joining her father in the UK from her home in Nepal three years ago.

Having excelled in her studies, she has been nominated by teachers and accepted onto the Medify UCAT practice platform with a full bursary.

Rabina is currently studying Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry A Levels at DCG’s Joseph Wright Centre and is planning to apply to university next academic year with her choices including Newcastle, Bristol and St Andrews.

She said: “I appreciate just how fortunate I am to have this bursary. The Medify bursary gives me access to specialist tutorials, mock questions and feedback so that I can be as prepared as possible for the UCAT test in September which you need to get a high score for to be able to study Medicine at university.

“It is a particularly difficult test as it covers a wide range of topics with strict timings on answers so that it tests your problem solving and decision making skills as well as knowledge.”

Rabina attended a good school in Nepal where her favourite subject was science. After arriving in Derby, she initially studied Sport at DCG’s Broomfield Hall. 

With that under her belt and, having had the chance to fully research what qualifications to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor, she was accepted onto the one-year GCSE+ programme at the Joseph Wright Centre and passed five GCSE’s with high grades – combining her studies with part time paid work to help support the family.

This opened the door to A Levels and teachers have been impressed with her consistently high grades, commitment and work ethic.

In addition to her A level studies, she recently competed in the Biology Olympiad and the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and has joined several enrichment visits and specialist lectures.

Due to Covid, she has not been able to do in-person work placements but has completed an online placement with Brighton and Sussex medical school and, as well as working on the Medify programme this summer, she aims to volunteer with St John Ambulance and work at a care home.

A keen footballer, Rabina’s goal is to specialist in sports medicine – something she has first-hand experience of having undergone painful surgery and recouperation for a knee injury earlier this year.

She continued: “I have loved my time at Derby College.  The teachers are amazing and I have made loads of friends.  I have particularly enjoyed the chance to develop my independent study skills which will hold me in good stead for university.

“I know I have one chance to take the UCAT test which is quite scary but I will use the summer break to really prepare for this and I am confident I will do well.

“My family are very proud of myself and my older sister who has studied Bio Medical Science at the University of Derby.

“They gave us the head start with a good education in Nepal and now I am determined to fulfil my dreams of becoming a doctor.”

Debbie Painter, GCSE+ Curriculum Manager at Derby College who nominated Rabina for the Medify bursary, concluded: “The competition for a Medify bursary is extremely fierce and we are delighted that Rabina has been accepted for this support.

“Rabina is an exceptional student and is one of the most academically able students in her cohort.  She is thriving in her A Level studies and her enthusiasm for learning is palpable.

“We have been particularly impressed with how Rabina combines her academic excellence with an ability to lead and inspire others.

“Having been the school council leader in Nepal, at College she has been a student ambassador and has taken a lead role in her tutor group’s Rag Week fund raising.  She is very supportive of fellow students and her outstanding inter-personal skills will help to make her an excellent doctor.

“I am sure that she will make full use of this bursary and will achieve her aspiration to follow a great career in medicine.”


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