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New plaque commemorates Birkbeck alumna Rebecca Dykes

The plaque has been installed at the College’s main library in Malet Street in memory of the late former student.

Former Birkbeck student Rebecca Dykes has been honoured with a plaque which has been placed in the College’s library.

The plaque follows the establishment of a scholarship in her name and commemorates the 30-year-old’s connection to Birkbeck, while also serving as an inspiration to other students.

Rebecca was killed in Beirut while working at the British Embassy in the city in December 2017.

She obtained an MSc in International Security and Global Governance as a part-time student and staff recalled her as being “enthusiastic and ambitious” about her studies.

She had been working in the Lebanese capital as the programme and policy manager for the Department for International Development since January 2017 and had previously been a policy manager with the Foreign Office’s Libya team, as well as an Iraq research analyst.

The plaque, which was today visited by Rebecca’s sister, has been inscribed with the message: “Rebecca was full of energy and enthusiasm and was determined to contribute something positive to the world. Her career at Department for International Development took her to some of the world’s most fragile countries, including Lebanon, Libya and Iraq. She undertook pioneering work to help to stabilise them and to encourage their communities to become more peaceful and resilient. We are proud to call her an alumna of Birkbeck and hope that her memory inspires others to address the same global injustices that she was so passionate about."

Earlier this year, The Rebecca Dykes Chevening Scholarship was established, enabling a female Lebanese or Palestinian living in Lebanon to pursue a Master’s degree in the UK in areas related to Gender Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Development and Human Rights, and Refugee and Migration Studies. The first scholarship has recently been awarded to Joelle Badran from Beirut who will come to Birkbeck to study for an MSc in Children, Youth and International Development.

Rebecca’s sister Harriet Maes said: “Becky loved her studies at Birkbeck and immersed herself in them completely. She had a powerful drive to use her knowledge to improve the lives of others. It is wonderful to mark her two years at Birkbeck in this way. We are also excited to see the first Rebecca Dykes Chevening Scholar about to follow in Becky’s footsteps.”

Joelle said she was “deeply honoured” to be awarded the scholarship.