Man who couldn’t read until 18 becomes Cambridge’s youngest ever black professor




Professor Jason Arday who couldn’t read or write until he was 18-year-old becomes Cambridge University’s youngest-ever black professor.


Jason, now 37 years old, was told he would likely spend his adult life in assisted living after being diagnosed with autism and remaining speechless until he was 11.


The man from Clapham in London, spent years getting “violently rejected” when he first started writing academically.


Now, he is an acclaimed professor who will be given one of the most prestigious professorship posts in the world, Professor of sociology of education at Cambridge.

He will be one of just five black professors at the institution and one of 155 black university professors in the UK from a total of 23,000.


“My work focuses primarily on how we can open doors to more people from disadvantaged backgrounds and truly democratize higher education,” he had said.


“Hopefully being in a place like Cambridge will provide me with the leverage to lead that agenda nationally and globally.

I remember thinking if I don’t make it as a football player or a professional snooker player, then I want to save the world, he said further.


After learning to read and write as a teenager, he became a PE teacher, which gave him an insight into the systemic inequalities that children can face in education.

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