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Three UvA students in the final round for the ECHO Awards

Published on 19-10-2022 13:04
The UvA congratulates students Hind Almushattat (Faculty of Medicine), Rida Hamdi (Faculty of Medicine) and Akhilesh Bansidhar (Amsterdam Law School) on reaching the final round of the ECHO Awards! Hind and Rida have been nominated for the ECHO Award WO and Akhilesh for the ECHO Tax & Law Award.
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Once a year, Dutch universities of applied sciences and universities are asked to nominate students for different categories of ECHO Awards, which are the initiative of ECHO, the expertise centre for diversity policy (Expertise Centrum Diversiteitsbeleid). ECHO Awards are awarded to successful students with non-Western backgrounds who stand out because of their enterprising mindsets, organisational skills, active social involvement and constructive approach to exclusion-related challenges. Hind, Rida and Akhilesh have ticked all these boxes, each of them in their own way.

Hind Almushattat

Hind has already obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biomedical Sciences and is currently studying medicine (at Master’s and PhD levels) as a transfer student. Hind is making a number of contributions to inclusion. For example, she is a member of the Board of the Utrecht cultural centre (Cultureel Centrum Utrecht (CCU)) and also the co-founder of an organisation that provides CITO training and tutoring services to primary and secondary school pupils from non-Western backgrounds (CCU Trainingen). Both enable her to create better connections and to reduce educational inequality. Within her own field of study, Hind wants to make future doctors more culturally sensitive. With this in mind, she is urging for intercultural differences to be anchored in the curriculum for the Bachelor’s and Master’s Medicine programmes.

Rida Hamdi

Rida already has a Pharmaceutical Sciences qualification and is currently enrolled for the Bachelor’s Medicine programme. He has become a vital link in this programme in his role as a Student Diversity Officer, as part of which he seeks out and implements new solutions in the field of diversity and inclusion. Within his programme, Rida is also drawing attention to the diversity of patients in the Netherlands. He has committed himself to this in a teaching role and by sharing his own experiences with other lecturers and setting out what could be improved. Rida is very active outside the University of Amsterdam (UvA) as well. His activities (past and present) include homework tutoring, teaching refugee children to break dance and sharing poetry about mental health on his Instagram page (Ridaspreekt).

Akhilesh Bansidhar

Akhilesh is currently enrolled for the Bachelor’s of Law and Tax Law at the UvA and Latin-American Studies at Leiden University. He is busy with a number of activities outside his studies too. For example, he is the founder of Active Minds, an advisory service on youth participation, diversity and inclusion that enables him to bring young people and the public and private sectors together to discuss themes like diversity and inclusion. Active Minds has worked for the Amsterdam-Amstelland security region (Veiligheidsregio Amsterdam Amstelland), the Education Executive Agency (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO)) and Deloitte, amongst other organisations. Akhilesh also founded the Labour Migration Foundation, a non-profit organisation that focuses on the legal position of labour migrants in the Netherlands. With his activities, Akhilesh would like to bring the experiences of students and legal services organisations closer together.

Opportunity to do a summer course in the US

All 15 finalists will be invited to give a jury presentation on Thursday 27 October 2022. There are five finalists in the ECHO Award WO category, five in the ECHO Award HBO category, three in the Loyens & Loeff Law & Tax Award category and two in the Bèta Techniek Award category.

The winners in the four different categories will be announced at a celebratory ceremony on 6 December 2022. Each of them will be given the opportunity to do a six-week summer course at UCLA in the United States.


ECHO is a non-profit organisation that strives to promote diversity and inclusion in (higher) education and the labour market. With the awards ceremony, ECHO helps to shine a light on excellent students with a non-Western background who contribute to creating equal opportunities for all. ECHO is a full partner of the Central Diversity Officer teamExternal link at the UvA.

Read more about diversity at the UvA hereExternal link