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Award-winning UCLan student goes straight to the top

Cyprus student dedicates award to grandfather and brother who passed away while she was studying in Preston

A final year interior design student from Cyprus has been named one to watch after she won a Society of British and International Design (SBID) award.

Tacan Ibrahimoglu graduated from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) this month, having scooped the SBID ‘Get me 2 the top’ accolade in the interior design category. The awards recognise, reward and celebrate the design excellence across a range of categories.

As part of the award win, Tacan will be undertaking a three-month internship at 1.61 London, a leading luxury interior design company, where she will have the opportunity to gain relevant hands-on work experience.

The 22-year-old overcame a number of challenges throughout her studies after she sadly lost her grandfather and brother within the space of three years.

She said: “After the journey I’ve had, I never thought I would be graduating with a prestigious award.

“I am very close to my family, my grandfather dropped me off at University and helped me to settle in. When he was leaving, I was handed a letter encouraging me to do my best, it said: ‘I am always with you, I love you’. These words kept me going through my grief.”

Soon after losing her grandfather, Tacan returned to University only to find out her brother had been diagnosed with cancer, and without a second thought she left the UK to be with him.

It was a challenge to leave my family after everything we’ve been through, but I wanted to make my grandfather and brother proud – everything I do now is for them.

It wasn’t until a year later that Tacan’s brother sadly passed away and she heavy-heartedly went on to resume her studies.

She explained: “It was a challenge to leave my family after everything we’ve been through, but I wanted to make my grandfather and brother proud – everything I do now is for them.

“I worked so hard to gain a place at UCLan, especially as my college didn’t offer any art courses, so to gain experience I attended another school in my own time and built up my portfolio to prepare me for University.

“With the support of family, friends and my UCLan tutors, Pamela Eccles and Jason Kearns, I successfully completed my degree. I’d like to thank everyone who has been part of my success over the past three years and I would like to dedicate the SBID award to my grandfather and brother.”

Tacan is looking forward to starting her three-month internship in August and hopes to secure employment within the UK through the opportunity she has been given at 1.61 London.

Eventually, she would like to return home to Cyprus to teach art and design, which will give young people the opportunity to develop artistic skills in mainstream education


Tacan Ibrahimoglu

Press Office | 19 July 2018