UCE student joins Government commission

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A STUDENT at the University of Central England has spoken of his delight after being selected to take part in the Government’s Commission on Integration and Cohesion.

Hamza Vayani, 23, from Leicester, is one of 14 independent commissioners asked to consider innovative ways in which communities across the UK can be empowered to improve cohesion and tackle extremism.

Hamza, a second-year MA Human Resources Management student at UCE Business School, is founder and Chief Executive of Leicester-based voluntary organisation Youth Voice, which encourages young people to empower themselves.

He was selected for the Commission having worked with the Independent Police Commission on community cohesion. He also led a BBC Radio 5 Live documentary following the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London which won the Race in Media Awards 2006 radio news category.

The Commission on Integration and Cohesion was launched by Ruth Kelly in August

The will look at how communities in England tackle tensions and extremism, and was launched amid growing fears of alienation amongst young British Muslims.

Hamza described his new role as “challenging”.

“Being involved in a government Commission where there is a potential to impact on the whole of the population of England is a challenging piece of work which I am juggling with my role at Youth Voice, as well as being a part time student at UCE Birmingham,” he said.

Committed to Equality and Diversity issues, Hamza is active and energetic in his local community. He has a wide portfolio of voluntary work, consultancy and board membership, including to the Leicester Multicultural Advisory Group, East Midlands’ Children & Young People’s policy team and the British Council and Runnymede Trust projects exploring the role of young Muslims in Britain.

 Hamza travels from Leicester to Birmingham each week to study on the MA course at UCE Birmingham – and believes the benefits he gets from the course make the journey worthwhile.

“Despite being pushed for time I am finding that the theory I am learning on the HRM course is enabling me to juggle my various commitments and put into practice various management techniques I have learnt. The tutors on the course are very supportive and the mode of study for busy people, coupled with the flexibility is brilliant.”

The Commission on Integration and Cohesion will undertake a significant programme of consultation and public meetings and events across the country before making its recommendations in June 2007.

Hamza and the other Commissioners encourage everyone to get involved in the work of the Commission by feeding back their views on what cohesion and integration means to them, through their consultation called ‘Your chance to tell us what you think.’ The consultation is published at www.communities.gov.uk/coic and will be open until 19 January 2007.

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