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Bradford College Student Excels in National Science Competition

Bradford College biology student, Laibba Arshad Mahmood Sadiq, stands in front of a lit STEM sign holding her bronze British Biology Olympiad certificate.

A Bradford College (@BradfordCollege) student has just won a top spot in the British Biology Olympiad 2024.

Laibba Arshad Mahmood Sadiq, studying A Level Biology, Chemistry and Maths at Bradford College, won bronze in the national science education competition.

Over 13,000 students from nearly 900 schools and colleges participated in the advanced problem-solving competition for pre-higher education students. The Olympiad challenges and stimulates students interested in biology to expand and extend their talents.

The competition consists of two 45-minute multiple-choice papers taken offline under exam conditions and on unfamiliar topics. Students use problem-solving skills to answer papers that expect participants to apply knowledge to unfamiliar topics.

The award comes as the nation celebrates British Science Week (8-17 March 2024) – a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This year, the campaign is #SmashingStereotypes and celebrating diversity in STEM.

Laibba hopes to become a neurosurgeon and study at Murray Edwards College at The University of Cambridge. She said:

“I’ve got really great teachers at Bradford College; there’s no doubting that they’ve helped me a lot. I came from Pakistan without any GCSEs which meant my options were narrowed down at that point. When you’re new to a country it can be hard to adapt to things like the accent, but my teachers and friends have helped me out a lot.

“I managed to get three A* in my AS Levels and now I’m working towards 3 A*s again for A Levels. Bradford College is a friendly environment where people are happy to help, and the teachers are supportive. It’s so diverse with various different cultures and communities that all respect and value each other.”

UKBC manages the British Biology Olympiad in conjunction with the Royal Society of Biology and University of Warwick. Top-scoring students are invited to complete further assessments for possible selection to represent the UK at the International Biology Olympiad.

Laibba is the latest student success story from Bradford College – an established and respected provider of further and higher education science programmes. Past students have progressed into careers including pharmacy, forensic or biomedical science, dentistry, ophthalmic dispensing, nursing, medicine, and emergency care.

Over the last two years, Bradford College has successfully secured nearly £29 million in funding to enhance, refurbish, and build new aspirational facilities in the heart of Bradford. Part of this investment will enhance existing College STEM facilities.

The Office for Students (OfS) Higher Education Capital Fund awarded £5.8m – alongside a £1.1m College contribution – to refurbish Garden Mills in the summer of 2024. The building will house flexible laboratories, higher education digital IT labs, an ophthalmic dispensing suite, a clinical suite, a real-life work environment with consulting and testing booths, a collaboration area, and more.

Work will also start on the purpose-built Future Technologies Centre thanks to £15m funding from the Department for Education’s Further Education Capital Transformation Fund (FECTF), boosted by a £2m College contribution. The FTC will become home of modern automotive and digital engineering curricula, such as electric/hybrid vehicles and advanced manufacturing. Opening in 2025/2026, the FTC will be vital in expanding technology and low-carbon skills capability within West Yorkshire.

Applications are now open for 2024/25. Visit the Bradford College website to see the range of Science courses on offer.

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