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Exam success for young asylum seekers tutored by University students

A group of young asylum seekers have excelled in their exams thanks to the support and guidance of Loughborough students.

Earlier this year, the University launched a six-month-long English and Maths tutoring project in partnership with Baca – a Loughborough-based charity that provides specialist supported accommodation and training for forced migrants aged 16 to 18.

Thirteen students from across the institution took part in the initiative and helped teach literacy and numeracy to 17 teenagers from the likes of Eritrea, Sudan, Albania, Afghanistan, Iran and Vietnam, who were forced to leave their homes as a result of war or persecution.

Tutoring took place on campus twice-a-week and sessions consisted of focused activities tailored to support the young people – some of whom had the equivalent English speaking and writing age of an eight-year-old at the start of the project. 

The Baca learners worked hard with the Loughborough students to develop their skills and build their confidence before sitting various exams – which for some included GCSEs – in June.

Almost every student passed their exams and all have moved up one or more speaking and writing level; one young person is also now at the stage where they are able to study for a BTEC.

Roz Crouch, Volunteer and Mentor Coordinator at Baca, commented: “These results are such a wonderful reflection of the hard work all the young people have put into their education, and it also naturally shows how successful the tutoring project was in supporting the young people’s educational needs.

“It has enabled them to go up a level and has helped them towards gaining a fantastic education, and therefore potentially brighter future here in England.

“We are all so thrilled for the young people and really impressed with their dedication to their studies and the tutors have been absolutely brilliant. Their individual dedication to their paired young person has been commendable.

“A huge thank you to Loughborough University and its students.”

The project has been so successful that it is to continue into the next academic year and will recommence next month (October).

Mathematics student Selma Uskuri, who volunteered as a tutor, said she “thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the programme” and encourages other students to get involved.

She said: “The programme is enriching for the young people and the tutors. I believe knowledge is power, and to share knowledge is empowering to both the person receiving and the person sharing.”

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