University of Leicester eBulletin

Rising to the Challenge

July 2003
No 182


Final-year student at the University of Leicester, Sandeep Pahal, chose to study Law partly because she felt she had something to prove and, having achieved a first-class degree, she has certainly more than risen to the challenge she set herself.

What is unusual in Sandeep’s case is that six years ago, at the age of 16, she woke up one morning unable to see. Her sight loss is complete, but after the initial shock wore off she reassessed her life, abandoned plans to become a policewoman or scientist and enrolled at the RNIB Vocational College in Loughborough.  

There she learned to study using non-visual methods, passed three A Levels, and was accepted to study Law at the University of Leicester.

[Photo: Sandeep Pahal on stage at graduation ceremony]
On stage at the University of Leicester's degree ceremony at De Montfort Hall on Thursday, July 10, Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Burgess leads an ovation for Sandeep Pahal (centre). Sandeep is accompanied by Clare Taylor from the University's Welfare Office.

Sandeep commented: “I had to work a little bit harder than the others, constantly having to plan ahead. It finally paid off and I have enjoyed every minute of my degree course.”

Dr Paula Dobrowolski, Head of the AccessAbility Centre at the University of Leicester said: "Sandeep has worked extremely hard to gain her first class degree in Law and is to be congratulated on her tremendous achievement. She has always been well-organised, thorough and very hard-working. She has been fully committed to her course as well as making time for friends and family. It has been a great pleasure to work with her. 

"Clearly, she has been supported by many members of staff in the AccessAbility Centre, particularly her volunteer readers, especially Mr John Mason, a retired law man himself, who has read material on to tape for her, probably for hundreds of hours together over the three years. Sandeep plans to follow a career in Law and already has a job. I wish her every success in the future; it is all thoroughly deserved."


More information is available through the University of Leicester Press Office, c/o Helen Richardson, telephone 0116 252 2415, email

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