A leading advocate for disadvantaged communities has been appointed visiting professor at York St John University.
Adeeba Malik CBE DL began her career as a schoolteacher in Bradford but now advises politicians, civil servants and policy makers across the country on a wide range of social and economic issues including education. As deputy chief executive of the Bradford-based charity QED Foundation, she has first-hand experience of helping young people from ethnic minority backgrounds to succeed against the odds.
“I feel honoured and privileged to be invited to support York St John University to help its students fulfil their potential,” says Adeeba.
“QED Foundation has a long track record of encouraging young people to raise their aspirations, even when they are faced with challenges and setbacks. I am also looking forward to helping staff to work with students from a wide range of backgrounds.”
“We aim to be at the forefront of promoting equality and diversity in education,” says Vice Chancellor of York St John University, Professor Karen Bryan OBE. “That includes ensuring that all our existing and prospective students enjoy the same opportunities and outcomes irrespective of ethnic background, faith, disability, gender or any other personal characteristics. Adeeba has just the right skills and experience to help us achieve these goals.”
QED Foundation works to create a cohesive society, where everyone is able to contribute and be rewarded fairly for his or her efforts. This includes delivering education, training and employment services to disadvantaged communities and using the insights gained from this work at grass-roots level to advise government, local authorities, public sector organisations and businesses.
The charity has also pioneered new approaches to raising educational attainment among ethnic minority groups including delivering literacy and numeracy classes and careers advice in madrassahs (Muslim supplementary schools). In 2020 QED Foundation launched the Yorkshire Asian Young Achievers Awards (YAYAs), which aim to raise aspirations, increase social mobility and encourage South Asians pupils to progress to further and higher education or training.
“Many families from our most disadvantaged ethnic minority groups have been trapped in poverty for generations,” says QED Foundation founder and chief executive Dr Mohammed Ali OBE. “Increasing educational attainment is crucial if we are to break this vicious cycle. Adeeba has been at the forefront of our efforts to achieve this for 30 years and is currently working with government to reduce racial disparities. We hope that York St John University will benefit greatly from her insight and practical experience.”
Adeeba Malik was recently appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire.