Award-winner, Gulikamaier Alifu, from Xinjiang Province in China, completed the MSc International Management and Leadership with Tourism at QMU in 2017. She is also a BA (Hons) International Hospitality and Tourism Management graduate from the University.
Gulikamaier won the top title from the ATHE after being nominated by QMU for her Community Impact Project, ‘Jog with Gobi’.
‘Jog with Gobi’ is a charity project that was initiated, planned and led by Gulikamaier in partnership with Dion Leonard, the author of the international bestseller ‘Finding Gobi’.
The story of Dion and Gobi attracted worldwide media attention when the seasoned ultramarthon runner took part in a 155-mile race through the Gobi Desert in China. A stray little dog, who would later be named Gobi, joined Dion for nearly 80 miles of his race and kept pace over the Tian Shan Mountains, across massive sand dunes and through the black sands of the Gobi Desert. Dion and Gobi are now helping rescue animals across Edinburgh and are the inspiration for Gulikamaier’s Community Impact Project.
With the aim of creating a positive social impact in the local community, ‘Jog with Gobi’ has also collaborated with the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. The five-month project, involving more than 100 people, raised more than £2000 for charity and had a positive economic impact of around £4000, including donations and funds raised. All funds have been donated to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home to aid in their work of rescuing and rehoming the stray dogs and cats in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Commenting on her award, Gulikamaier said: “I’m delighted to be awarded the ATHE Best Postgraduate Student Award and I’m honoured that my hard work and my dedication through the master’s programme has been recognised by one of the top tourism associations in the UK. “This award is a huge encouragement for an international student like me. I’d like to thank all my lecturers and classmates that have helped me throughout my studies at QMU.
“As challenging as it was, my time at QMU was a journey of discovering and learning. Among all subjects, the Community Impact and Practice Project was and still is the most valuable lesson that I learnt and it is the highlight of my studies at QMU.
“I’m now living in Germany, exploring and learning the language and culture. In the near future, I hope to work in travel and tourism industry in Europe.”
Before arriving at QMU to complete the BA (Hons) International Hospitality and Tourism Management, Gulikamaier studied for two years at the East Asia Institute of Management (EASB) in Singapore, which is one of QMU’s partner institutions.
Gulikamaier also secured a £5,000 scholarship from Santander Universities to help support her studies at QMU. Over the last 10 years Santander Universities partnership with QMU has provided support for over 400 staff, students, SMEs and charities, including Santander scholarships for students; research and mobility funding for QMU staff and students; the Santander Universities SME Internship Programme involving QMU students, graduates and local SMEs; and local charities who have received Community Awards.
The total financial commitment from Santander to QMU over the last 10 years is over £766,000. This funding has been used to increase the University’s international reach, develop links with the local community, encourage outstanding research and teaching, and enhance employability for QMU students and graduates.
Further information on Santander Universities can be found on our website.
Jog with Gobi
On the 13th August 2017, Dion and Gobi in-conjunction with Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home held the first 'Jog with Gobi' event- A 2.5km run along the Edinburgh Portobello beach to raise money and awareness for Adopt Don't Shop.
@FindingGobi – Twitter
@FindingGobi – Instagram
facebook.com/findinggobi - Facebook
Notes to Editor
Association of Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE)
ATHE is the subject association for tourism in higher education in the UK. The Association celebrates the impact that teaching, learning and research in tourism can have on society. The Association is striving to ensure that the case for tourism in higher education is heard by the relevant stakeholders and sees this award scheme as recognising excellence in building leadership and management capacity in the visitor economy and understanding global complexity through tourism.
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