Rukayyah Yussuf

Ruky gained 1:1 in Business Economics. She now runs her own online tutoring business, aimed at helping low income families afford vital extra tuition.

“I arrived in the UK from Somalia as an asylum seeker when I was just 14. I was unaccompanied and was fostered with a family in Slough, where I also went to school. I had problems with bullies, with fitting in and struggled with my GCSEs but I tried hard and got good grades in my A levels.

“I was keen to go to university, but I discovered I was not eligible for funding as my status was DLR – Discretionary Leave to Remain. My council at the time said that my support would end if I became a student – I was at a dead end.

“But after going on an Outward Bounds course in Wales, I became more confident and able to speak in public. They asked me to go to Westminster to speak about my journey at an event, where I was then asked to present to Prince Philip at a Duke of Edinburgh awards event at Buckingham Palace. After that, I was offered a scholarship to come to University of Huddersfield.

“If I could talk about all the support I had at Huddersfield, I’d never stop! There are things we go through as care leavers that anyone who doesn’t come from that background just would not realise.

“They helped with problems I had to deal with both inside the University, but outside of it as well. I cannot imagine what I would have done without their support. Having that support made me feel safe, I had someone I could speak to at any time.

“What I would say to anyone in care thinking about going to university is ‘go’! I know some would hesitate, due to the fear of not knowing what might happen or who will be there for them if they needed support.  Care leavers might not have that person who says ‘I am proud of you’, which is something that might hold someone back.

“There’s that fear of not having support, but my experience here at Huddersfield tells me to tell anyone to go for it. You can be sure you have support at Huddersfield, sometimes it is worth knocking on the door to find out.”


With credit to University of Huddersfield