UCD Quinn School student Altamash Shaikh wins Nobel Scholarship

Posted 7 March, 2022

A student from the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business is among 11 students globally to be awarded a Nobel Dialogue scholarship.

Altamash Shaikh, a stage 2 Business and Law candidate, is the first student at University College Dublin to receive the high-impact student scholarship - which invites future leaders to travel to Sweden and attend sessions at the Nobel Week Dialogue, a collaborative event bringing together some of the world’s leading scientists, policymakers, and thinkers to discuss topics through a global lens.

“Winning the scholarship meant a lot to me. Not only would I be representing UCD, but in fact all of Europe, as most participants were from America,” said Altamash. “It was a fantastic opportunity and a unique experience. I do not think I will ever get to do something like this again.”

He added: “The scholarship gives students a chance to engage in critical thinking with a diverse group of people who not only study different courses but are from different nationalities and cultures.

“This collaborative thinking helps in tackling major societal issues as everyone brings their own unique experience. It also allows you to learn soft skills such as conflict management and how to present opinions in a way that is considerate towards others.

“Getting to meet and interact with Nobel laureates was also quite a unique experience.”

Originally from Mumbai, India, Altamash fled his homeland due to religious persecution and arrived in Ireland in 2017.

While in direct provision accommodation, he progressed through the Irish education system completing both the Leaving Cert and earning a QQI Level 5 Certificate in Business Studies at Drogheda Institute of Further Education (DIFE) before he was offered a UCD scholarship to study Business and Law.

“From my experience, I believe the inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in all areas is an ongoing crucial development for our society… Support for higher education for asylum seekers as provided by Ireland enhances the progress of individuals and also advances society and the economy,” he said as part of his application for the Nobel scholarship.

To be considered for selection, all students were asked to apply with a statement responding to a specific prompt, and to submit a letter of nomination from a faculty member familiar with the student’s academic work.

“Altamash is a truly outstanding student, who has taken on a leadership role in many areas of our community life in UCD,” said Director of UCD Quinn School and Associate Dean of the UCD College of Business Associate Professor Maeve Houlihan.

“In his Nobel project, he is giving a voice and offering insight on the experience of Muslims and Human Rights. We’re proud for him to represent UCD as part of the Nobel Dialogues Week in Sweden, and of this initiative as an extraordinary opportunity for student change makers to further learn and grow.

"Altamash is a global citizen and makes a difference in the life of our School. I know he will go on to do great things in this world.”

The Nobel Scholarship is a new initiative in UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business, in partnership with Education First, and the Forum on Education Abroad, to collaborate in a global module supporting a small group of international changemakers to work and learn together.

UCD Quinn School will be the academic host of this programme for the next three years and will send a scholar each of these years.

In addition to his BBL studies, Altamash is involved with an academic advising program at UCD Sutherland School of Law which offers recommendations to the Dean.

He is also a class representative in the UCD Students’ Union, as well as a mentor in the Empower the Family Mentoring Student Housing Charity.

His commitment to supporting and improving the UCD community earned him the UCD in the Community Award Volunteering Gold Award for completing 77+ hours of volunteering in 2021.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Beth Gormley, UCD College of Business)