20 June 2019

Utrecht students nominated for ECHO Award 2019 ánd UAF-Award 2019

Avin Ghedri (links): UU-studente en winnaar ECHO Award 2018 en Ingrid van Engelshoven (rechts): Minister van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap
Avin Ghedri (left): UU-student and winner ECHO Award 2018 and Ingrid van Engelshoven (right): Minister of Education, Culture and Science

This year three students of Utrecht University were recommended and two were nominated for the ECHO Award. One UU-student has been nominated for the UAF Award.

ECHO Award 2019

The ECHO Award is an annual initiative by the Expertise Centre for Diversity Policy. Its goal is to generate positive attention for individual successes by students from the multi-cultural society. Successful students of non-Western backgrounds, who distinguish themselves with their outstanding academic achievements, boundary-pushing attitudes, bridging qualities, active social involvement and leadership qualify for this award. The winners will be rewarded with a fully arranged Summer Course at the University of California Los Angeles in the United States. All recommended students will join the ECHO Ambassadors network. 


  • Simone Aumaj | Research Master Gender Studies
    Both within and outside the academic world, Simone dedicates herself to diversity and inclusion. At an academic level, she is an excellent student who has an eye for practice. She also dedicates her leadership qualities as an ambassador, a role model and a mediator in various places within and outside the university.
  • Zahraa Attar | Research Master Linguistics
    Zahraa has had a complicated journey: she fled from Syria to the Netherlands and gave it her all to be admitted to her research Master's programme. She completed it with an above-average result, combining it with her young family. Zahraa’s research contributes to the reduction of inequality of opportunities in the Dutch education system. She has spoken about this topic at conferences and non-scientific meetings on multiple occasions.


  • Chahida Bouhamou | Academic Master Social Policy and Public Health
    Chahida was also recommended, but has not been nominated. She stands out with her continuous dedication in the fields of diversity and advocacy on the one hand, and her research into homelessness and psychiatry on the other hand. She did an internship at Movisie, the national expertise centre for social issues, enabling her to bridge the gap between theory and practice. She was also involved in setting up a buddy project for first-generation students with non-Western backgrounds.

UAF-Award 2019

The UAF supports highly educated refugees in realising adequate social positions by means of suitable education and employment. The UAF-Award is presented annually to candidates who stand out due to extraordinary academic or work achievements and who dedicate themselves to society. This award symbolises the dedication and perseverance of refugees who build new futures here. The winner will receive a professional development trajectory offered by HR consultancy firm Lagerweij and a work of art made by a refugee artist.


  • Dalal Ghanim | Bachelor Farmacy
    Dalal works in a pharmacy besides her education and teaches remedial classes to secondary-school students. Coming to the Netherlands from Iraq at the age of 17, she has since become a familiar face in the social debate about Yazidis. She recently received a scholarship from the ROSANNA Fund. The UAF-Award jury has selected Dalal as one of the nominees because they was impressed by her perseverance, her motivation and her broad-scale social involvement.