Research students benefit from scholarship boost from Guru Teg Bahadur Gurdwara
A local Gurdwara based in Wolverhampton has given research students a boost by donating scholarships to help fund their studies.
The Guru Teg Bahadur Gurdwara based in Wolverhampton has donated four scholarships of ￡1,000 each to PhD research students studying at the University’s Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies.
The four students are specifically researching subjects and topics that are actively affecting the Sikh community.
Gurpal Singh, representing the Gurdwara, said: “We decided to start an education project to support postgraduate students studying for Master’s degrees or PhDs with a grant while they were doing their research.
“We wanted specifically to build a strong link with the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies and we are really hoping to further strengthen our links with them as we are both based in Wolverhampton and are at the heart of the communities here.”
Narinder Kaur Bring is looking at the music and singing aspect of Sikh tradition and how it shapes an understanding of ourselves, particularly the next generation as well as the Sikh identity. She said: “I was pleasantly surprised to receive my scholarship and it’s great to see that one of our local Gurdwaras has recognised that the work that the Centre does is credible and has a place in the wider community.”
Supreet Kaur Uppal’s research is exploring attitudes, perceptions and understanding of mental wellbeing in the Sikh community. She said: “I’m really grateful for this support and I’ll be using my scholarship to aid my research as well as using some of it to fund my course fees.”
Avneet Singh Hunjan is researching alcohol abuse in the Sikh community. He said: “I feel honoured and privileged to have been chosen. It’s great that they have recognised that this research is needed in the community.”
Menisha Bodh is exploring mental wellbeing, body image and the influence of social media. She said: “This is an amazing gift which will help me with my education fees.”
Paul Uppal from the Gurdwara, said: “What prompted the idea was the 400-year birth celebration of the ninth Guru. The philosophy of Sikhism and the literal translation is to learn. Our faith encapsulates lifelong learning and how you spread the understanding of various concepts throughout humanity.
“The attraction was the speciality of the Centre’s Sikh Studies courses and there was a natural fit with the Sikh Gurdwara and what these students are trying to achieve through their academic research. Sikhism is very much about spiritual strength but also about lifelong learning in the academic sense as well.”
Dr Opinderjit Kaur Takhar, Director of the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies, said: “These scholarships will help our students carry out vital research in the community, and is a very generous gift from one of our local Gurdwaras here in Wolverhampton.
“The Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies is based around a nationally-leading research hub, with large-scale research projects into Sikh history, art and literature, diaspora, identity, inter-religious dialogue, culture, community and place, all within the context of a 21st century global society.
“We aim to be a centre of academic excellence by becoming the national voice for academics active within Sikh and Panjabi Studies and our focus is on lifelong learning from both inter-faith and inter-disciplinary perspectives with an aim to increase knowledge and promote dialogue.
“Our aspiration is to create a space for current and future generations in which they can feel comfortable in enquiring about their faith, its principles and ethos. The Centre will be a ‘go-to place’ for any individuals or organisations wanting to know more about the Sikhs and their faith, and it is the first of its kind in the UK.”
Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days.
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