Refugee Secures University Place Within Two Years Of Arriving In Cumbria

A refugee, who relocated to Cumbria in 2018 after leaving Syria, has been offered a place to study Maths at Leeds University.

Mum of two Alaa Al Zoubi, aged 25, has achieved a GCSE in Maths two years after settling in Barrow-in-Furness from Syria.

Alaa with her two children.

Alaa studied for her Maths GCSE with Cumbria County Council’s Community Learning and Skills (CLAS) service in Barrow.

Alaa said: “I studied Maths at University in Syria for 3 years, I only had one year left to complete when we moved to the UK.

“I am very pleased that I have passed my IELTS exam (English Exam for foreign students) and my GCSE in Maths, and now have a place at Leeds University to study Maths.

“I would like to express my thanks to my tutor Becky as without her help and encouragement I wouldn’t have had the courage to apply to University in England.”

Based at Cambridge Street School and working from a variety of locations in the town, Barrow CLAS also helped Alaa with her English language skills.

Prior to studying towards her Maths CGSE, she attended ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes and an ICT Class, all delivered by the county council.

Leigh Furlong, Centre Manager at Barrow Community Learning and Skills, said: “We are delighted that we have helped Alaa to realise her dream of studying Maths at University in the UK.

“It has been inspirational to see how she has progressed with her English skills which has given her the confidence to study her chosen subject in the UK.”