Nabil’s top performance at Cambridge clears his path on to Yale

Nabil’s top performance at Cambridge clears his path on to Yale

Architecture student Nabil Haque has enjoyed stellar academic success in his final year at Jesus College, Cambridge, winning a string of prizes and accolades.

Nabil (OE 2010–2017) graduates with the highest-possible class of degree – Double First with Distinction – and an overall score of 80 out of 100, which is the top mark recorded by the university’s Architecture department in five years.

He thus won the award for the best Architecture student of his year, having also secured several other college prizes for academic performance, including the Sir Leslie Martin Prize for Architecture.

“The grade I received this year makes me eligible for the BASS Fellowship, a fully-funded, expenses-covered two-year scholarship to Yale University, where I wish to pursue my Part II Architecture Master’s. I am currently completing my year in industry at Caruso St John Architects, winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2016.”

He has been nominated by Cambridge for the: Architects’ Journal National Student Awards; Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s Medal Bronze Award for Undergraduate Portfolio, and RIBA President’s Medal Dissertation Award. “The RIBA President’s Medals in particular are the most prestigious architectural awards in the world, and it has been an honour to be nominated by the university for them.”

Yet, says Nabil, his final year at Cambridge “has been by no means an easy one, with strikes for eight weeks during the first term and coronavirus relegating my final term to home-based learning”.

Nabil says QE has remained at the forefront of his mind throughout his time at Cambridge, where, he found, the School’s reputation preceded him: “It is no exaggeration to say that professors, tutors and even my peers always recognise a ‘QE boy’.”

He was involved in many areas of School life, for example, captaining the First XV and winning a place on the Royal Academy of Arts’ attRAct programme in the Sixth Form.

He pays particular tribute to Head of Art Stephen Buckeridge for the instrumental role he played in the formative stages of his education, pointing out that he was one of no fewer than three QE boys in his year on Cambridge’s extremely competitive Architecture degree course (together with Danny Martin and Tochi Onuora). It was, he said, the “freedom, confidence and individuality” that Mr Buckeridge fostered during their Sixth Form years which enabled them to navigate their design projects so successfully. “QE is the most represented school across all three years of Architecture undergraduates at Cambridge,” Nabil says.

He also maintains strong links with other QE alumni in his year at Cambridge, counting Christopher Deane, Viral Gudiwala and Tomas Viera-Short among his close friends.

“My time at Cambridge was by and large a direct extension of my time at QE. I represented the university for rugby (Second XV) and athletics, I held positions on the Jesus College Student Union (including Black and Minority Ethnic Officer), was a student representative for the Jesus College Legacies of Slavery Committee and was, in 2019, responsible for the first-ever art exhibition exclusively for BME exhibitors.

“The confidence to take up such positions, pursue my interests and further myself physically, mentally and academically all stem from the foundations I laid down at QE.”