Wolverhampton student beats the odds to take University honours

The Verma family (from left) father Sushil, mother Rakesh, Kunal and his sister, Nisha

A WOLVERHAMPTON student has taken a top honour after overcoming health barriers to successfully complete his degree at Staffordshire University.

Now, a career in computing is beckoning Kunal Verma, and despite suffering a stroke in his early 20s, which left him with limited mobility, he has taken a step closer to fulfilling his long-held ambition.

The 25-year-old Computing Science graduate from Wolverhampton, who previously completed a HND in Software Engineering, collapsed one day at University from a brain haemorrhage.

He spent two years recovering before returning to complete his degree, achieving a 2:1, and also collecting first prize in the Computing and Information Systems category at Staffordshire University’s GradEx Exhibition.

“I enjoyed University very much and I made lots of friends,” Kunal said, “I’m glad I decided to come back and finish with a degree.”

While away, however, and after spending a great deal of time in hospitals, receiving physiotherapy treatment, Kunal was inspired to base his final year project on an NHS database system.

He said: “After I collapsed at University in April 2005 I was rushed to Stafford A&E and then I took two years off. I had to go through rehab and physiotherapy to get some movement back.

“During my recovery, when I was in hospital, I came across the information systems and I found a project. I asked members of staff if they could answer a few questionnaires and I decided to create a database information service – a mobile PDF system.”

Nonetheless, after two years, starting up his academic career again wasn’t easy for Kunal.

He added: “When I came back to Staffordshire University in September 2007 I found it very difficult because I was tired all the time. But then I found I was growing used to it and getting stronger. The physio is ongoing, though.”

Now that he has graduated, Kunal is searching for a job in the field of IT. He said: “I’d like to work on hospital information systems and then work my way up within the health service or whatever company I’m in.”

Staffordshire University Vice Chancellor Professor Christine King said: “"We are immensely proud of our Class of 2009 - many of whom are bucking the recession and already proving  their worth as industry must-haves. Staffordshire University offers students the opportunity to improve their prospects through an outstanding range of courses, industry standard teaching facilities and meaningful placements - all of which are designed to help graduates make a big impact with employers in industry, business and the professions."


Maria Scrivens
Media Relations Manager
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e: m.c.scrivens@staffs.ac.uk