Our graduates inspiring the next generation

Thu, 05 Aug 2021 14:32:00 BST

This year, over 17,000 students will graduate from The University, many of which are already making contributions to our city, through healthcare, education and protecting the natural environment.

Although the impact of COVID-19 on our NHS has been palpable, healthcare was not the only sector to suffer as a result of the pandemic; it has also had a dramatic impact on education, with schools and nurseries closing and online learning struggling to measure up.

The extent of the consequences are yet to be fully understood but it is apparent that the pandemic has contributed to the widening of existing social inequalities - something the University has worked hard to combat, training 550 teachers every year, with thousands of graduate teachers currently working in local primary and secondary schools.

Meet Hannah Ruddock, a graduate teacher who hopes to inspire the future generations of Manchester

Hannah Ruddock, a 2021 PGCE graduate from the University, was inspired to pursue a career in education when the support of her teacher at a devastating time in her life made school bearable. She hopes to teach the next generation that you can be whoever and whatever you dream of becoming, regardless of your background.

Hannah, aged 22, who will begin her journey as a history teacher at St Anthony's school in Urmston this September, said: "When I was in school, my mum was diagnosed with cancer, and it was devastating. My history teacher was so supportive both in and outside of the classroom and helped me in ways I could not possibly measure.

"The faith he had in me, and the way he supported me so determinedly, has driven me to want to provide that same support to the future generation of our region. I grew up in Wythenshawe, and whenever you tell somebody you are from there, there is a really strong stereotype that carries so many negative connotations. It shouldn't be happening in this day and age, and it concerns me that as a consequence of the pandemic, this social gap could expand.

"My role proves that it doesn't matter what your background is or where you've come from. If you want to do something and you put your mind to it, you can absolutely do it. The support is there, so it all comes down to your mindset and breaking those stereotypes. I want to show the children I teach that I was exactly where they are now, and I had the same start in life, and just like I have, they too can make their lives what they want them to be.

"Education had such a positive impact on me, so I want to inspire my students and support them in the same way so that education is a positive experience for them too. The University of Manchester has taught me to believe in myself, to have more confidence. Without them, I wouldn't be walking into my dream job. I can't wait to be a part of the school and make a difference in the lives of the students I will be teaching."

  • Meet Hannah Osborne, who is supporting those with mental health issues in Manchester.
  • Meet Connor Corcoran, an engineer whose greatest passion is to provide a healthier environment for the people of Manchester.