Right now, it is impossible to ignore all the negative stories that we hear in the media relating to the cost of living crisis and world events. We are living through challenging times, but our history shows us that when the going gets tough, QMU gets going!

Since our beginnings in 1875, QMU has always responded positively in dealing with the most pressing issues that affect our society. Indeed, that has been evidenced through our work in assisting the country’s recovery from the pandemic. It has been heartening to see how staff, from across the University and Students’ Union, have pulled together, in true QMU style, to support students with the cost of living. Our Thank Goodness It’s Thursday (TGIT) events, which provide free food and social opportunities, are proving to be a real boon for cash-strapped students. But with an eye on the bigger picture, TGIT is just part of QMU’s wider response to building a stronger community and supporting students through the current situation. On page 29, you can read more about why Thursday’s are now the best night of the week for QMU students.

In this edition of QMYOU, we are also sharing stories about a range of graduate careers – focusing on the roles that some of our healthcare students have moved on to since graduation. Find out more about where a career in podiatry (p6-7) or nursing (p8-9) can take you. The student experience encompasses much more than what individuals learn in the classroom. Often, it is the extracurricular activities that develop a student’s confidence and shape their future career. That’s why it’s very rewarding to see how the Student and Vice-Chancellor's Development Fund is allowing students to benefit from opportunities which may otherwise not be open to them. On page 23, Ellen Clark shares her passion for sailing and tells us how the Fund has allowed her to compete in a national sailing competition.

One of the main driving forces of our work at QMU is to develop graduates and staff who want to make a difference in the world around them. It is difficult not to be moved by the story of our media practice lecturer, Walid Salhab. Walid had to flee Lebanon in the 1970s when the civil war was raging. On pages 18-19, you can find out how Walid is now taking the international film festival circuit by storm with his new animation film ‘Sea of Hope’, which aims to raise awareness of the plight of refugees escaping conflict.

No-one could fail to be impressed by the story of Mostafa Salameh, who received an honorary degree from QMU last year. Mostafa, a graduate of QMU’s BA Hospitality and Tourism Management, has achieved extraordinary things in his life. Find out on pages 16-17 about his adventures as a mountaineer, charity fundraiser and motivational speaker, and his work inspiring and transforming the lives of hundreds of people.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of QMYOU and take inspiration from some of our news, initiatives, student stories and graduate interviews. If you’re a graduate, stay connected with QMU through our alumni office alumni@qmu.ac.uk, and if you are a member of the public or are new to the University and want to connect, please talk to our Development team or email development@qmu.ac.uk about ways you can get involved and support our work.

With very best wishes,

Sir Paul Grice FRSE, FAcSS