Ateka Tarajia

Fulbright-Kennedy Award, Harvard University - Education

My academic and professional journey has been characterised by a commitment to equality of opportunity in education, especially access to prestigious universities amongst those from underrepresented backgrounds. Research shows that institutions and professions of power and influence continue to be dominated by Oxbridge graduates, many of whom attended fee paying schools, giving rise to the question of whether we truly live in a democracy. My Master’s will focus on the environmental and cultural factors involved in differential educational attainment and the factors in the underrepresentation of working class and minority students at prestigious universities. It is hoped that by raising the aspirations of those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the leaders of tomorrow will truly reflect society and comply with the democratic ideals that we cherish. I am incredibly proud of being chosen for a Fulbright Award, not only because of notable alumni, but because I can now pursue an area of study that allows me to fulfil my life purpose of widening participation at elite universities. I am also looking forward to experiencing traditional American holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving.