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Bradford College Vice Principal Named Muslim Woman of the Year

One of our Senior Leadership Team has recently been named ‘Muslim Woman of the Year’ at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

Alina Khan was victorious in the ‘Noor Inayat Khan Muslim Woman of the Year’ category at the British Muslim Awards 2024 last week, which took place at the Muslim Heritage Centre in Manchester.

Now in their 11th year, the annual awards celebrate the achievements and contributions of British Muslims across various fields.

Alina won the award against nine other exceptional finalists in a fiercely competitive category. She said: “I was so surprised to hear I’d been shortlisted, but even more so when I won! When I looked at the other finalists in the category, they were hugely successful influencers. I feel extremely humbled to receive such an amazing accolade given the award is to recognise those who inspire and fight for justice and feel especially honoured about the category.”

Alina’s award is named after Noor Inayat Khan, a wartime British secret agent of Indian descent who was the first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France by the Special Operations Executive (SOE). From one trailblazer to another, Alina is the first person in the Further Education sector to ever hold the position of Vice Principal for Equality, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) & Student Experience. She joined Bradford College in 2022 and champions EDI to break down barriers, challenge injustice, and ensure everyone can reach their full potential. As well as this special aware, Alina also achieved a place on the Asian Standard ‘Bradford’s Most Influential’ list earlier this year.

Born and raised in Bradford, Alina studied three A Levels at Bradford College herself before heading to Manchester Metropolitan University to study IT. She then returned to Bradford College to study for a post-graduation certificate in education, before starting her career as a secondary school ICT teacher. Prior to joining Bradford College, she moved into a position in Bradford’s Local Authority working in children’s services and later managing the Education Safeguarding team.

“As a woman from a minority background, I understand and have experienced many barriers”, Alina continued.

“People like me often need to try even harder to gain credibility and respect in professional settings, so I believe it’s up to us to then remove those obstacles by developing cultural competency, embedding organisational change, and fostering environments of inclusivity and respect.”

“I hope I can use this award to inspire others to challenge the status quo and positively disrupt the norm. I truly believe that you can’t be who you can’t see and know how important it is for students to have a range of positive role models who are able to have a positive influence. If just one young person looks at me and thinks ‘Well if she can do it then so can I’, I know I’m having an impact.”

“I feel really privileged to work in the community in which I live and was raised. This recognition not only celebrates my work but also Bradford College’s outstanding contributions to transforming lives.”

Alina’s appointment was just one of many commitments to EDI at Bradford College. We hold the Investors in Diversity standard and were the first ‘College of Sanctuary’ in West Yorkshire – an award that recognises the exceptional level of assistance provided to some of the most vulnerable learners seeking sanctuary in the City.

Are you interested in a career at Bradford College working alongside exceptional, award-winning individuals like Alina? Check out our full range of vacancies

Published: 15th May 2024




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