Dr Toluwalase Awoyemi is named one of the UK’S Top 10 Black Students

Dr Toluwase AwoyemiDr Toluwalase Awoyemi, Rhodes Scholar and doctoral candidate in Health Sciences at Christ Church and the University of Oxford, has received a Rare Rising Stars Award 2020 as one of the UK’S Top 10 Black Students. Dr Awoyemi was ranked second in this year’s awards. 

The Rare Rising Stars Award was set up in 2009 by the diversity recruitment consultancy Rare Recruitment in association with the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The award aims to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the best Black students in the UK, and to inspire the next generation of bright young Black people.

Dr Awoyemi grew up in Nigeria. He studied Medicine at the University of Ibadan Medical School, graduating top of his class and winning 20 academic awards during his time there. In 2017, Dr Awoyemi was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to undertake a DPhil in Women and Reproductive Health at the University of Oxford. His doctoral research aims to understand why some babies are born prematurely and why a significant number of women develop hypertension while pregnant.

During his studies at the University of Ibadan, Dr Awoyemi was involved in CHECK Medical Missions and taught at the Medical School. More recently, he co-founded a new NGO, The Ganglion Initiative, an education social enterprise that aims to improve university admissions services and careers counselling at public secondary schools in Nigeria. Dr Awoyemi is also involved in the access and outreach programme at Christ Church and works on increasing the representation of ethnic minority students at Oxford. 

In response to being named one of the UK’s Top 10 Black Students, Dr. Awoyemi said: 'This award places the education systems in Nigeria and the UK in the spotlight and highlights the seemingly invisible inequalities present in both. It also reflects the support I have received since starting at Oxford, which will help me to complete my DPhil next year and begin speciality training in medicine. In the meantime, the NGO I founded is working on rolling out scholarship schemes and back-to-school packs for public secondary school students in Nigeria to help reduce the spread of Covid.’