Arts Emergency

Alexa Neale

Research Student PhD

I’m not from the sort of background that typically encourages students into university education. When I was growing up the attitude in my family and at my low-participation school was that, for even the brightest students, ‘uni isn’t for us’. I thought uni was for ‘posh’ people and that I wouldn’t fit in, even if I could get the grades. In my twenties, encouraged by my friends, I went back to college part-time and got my A-Levels. Two degrees and five years later I’m studying for my PhD on a scholarship. Just being at university has opened my eyes to the world and our society, helped me explore who I am. Studying History has taught me to think critically about everything I read and hear, helped me understand where I’ve come from, and why people who share my background don’t have so many opportunities in life as those whose families were born or bought into privilege. I want to help change that. I’d really like to be able to use my experiences to support someone who, like me, just wants to learn about something because they really love it.