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HomeCulturalAlina Khan Takes Top Honour at the British Muslim Awards 2024

Alina Khan Takes Top Honour at the British Muslim Awards 2024

Bradford College Vice Principal Alina Khan has been awarded the 'Noor Inayat Khan Muslim Woman of the Year' at the British Muslim Awards held at the Muslim Heritage Centre in Manchester UK this week.

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Bradford College Vice Principal Alina Khan has been awarded the ‘Noor Inayat Khan Muslim Woman of the Year’ at the British Muslim Awards held at the Muslim Heritage Centre in Manchester UK this week.

For over a decade, the British Muslim Awards has been one of the most prestigious events in the British Muslim social calendar.

This year, Bradford College Vice Principal Alina Khan took out the coveted accoloade and says that she was taken by surprise by the honour.

“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,” says Khan.

Khan’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). She was arrested and eventually executed by the Gestapo. Noor was posthumously awarded the George Cross for her courage in 1949.

A trailblazer herself, Khan 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. Khan also achieved a place on the Asian Standard ‘Bradford’s Most Influential’ list earlier this year.

Born and raised in Bradford, Khan studied three A Levels at Bradford College herself. She went on to study IT at Manchester Metropolitan University and came back to Bradford College to study for a post-graduation certificate in education. After starting her career as a secondary ICT teacher before moving into the Bradford Local Authority where she worked within children’s services and later managed the Education Safeguarding team.

“I believe it’s up to us to remove 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 I know how important it is for students to have a range of positive role models who are able to have a positive influence. This recognition not only celebrates my work but also Bradford College’s outstanding contributions to transforming lives,” says Khan.

Notes from the Editor: Khan’s appointment is just one of Bradford College’s commitments to EDI. The College holds the Investors in Diversity standard and was 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.

This feature has been edited from its original publication here.

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