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My name is Asma, and I am an international student from Afghanistan in the UK who desperately needs your help. I am in my 4th semester, second year, studying Law with International Relations at Sussex University, expecting to graduate with a bachelor's degree in July 2025. Unfortunately, I may have to withdraw from my education and may not be able to continue without your assistance because I am currently unable to pay my tuition.
Sadly, I experienced a profound loss during the Afghan government's collapse and the Taliban takeover, forcing me to leave the country with only a backpack, forsaking all my possessions. The moment was tragic, facing the reality of losing everything I had owned and diligently worked for over the years. Despite the overwhelming sense of despair, the opportunity to study in the UK became a beacon of hope, fuelling my determination for a brighter future and the realisation of a cherished dream. Despite the considerable mental and emotional strain, I have dedicated the past two years to excelling in my education. Despite numerous challenges, I have managed to maintain good academic performance and concurrently supported fellow refugee students in their educational pursuits.
When the government collapsed, I was evacuated to France by the French military. If I had been able to secure a safe transfer from Afghanistan to the UK instead of France, I would have been considered a home fees student and able to access Student Finance loans. This decision, made out of grave necessity in a time of chaos, fear and panic, has had a significant impact on my eligibility for funding and my ability to progress my education as I had hoped.
Since the cessation of my previous funding, I have been actively seeking out other sources of financial assistance. I have applied for several external scholarships and grants, such as the Santander universities scholars programme, and have reached out to my department and university for potential opportunities. I also reached out to the Sanctuary Scholarship and organisations such as STAR and Refugee Education UK for assistance.
In all sincerity, I must emphasise that my financial situation is currently quite challenging. The circumstances I am facing make it exceedingly difficult for me to secure the necessary funds through part-time employment that my visa allows me to do. I intended to pay my tuition with the little savings I had and my family’s in the form of cash and assets in Afghanistan, but sadly, due to the circumstances, I left Afghanistan, and I no longer have access to any of it. I am also unable to self-fund as my visa only allows me to work 20 hours max a week in the UK, which I currently do as a Student Connector to fund my living expenses, such as rent, groceries, and transportation.
I have only four months left for my second-year tuition fee to be paid completely, or I will have to withdraw permanently from the university. I have come so far and invested a lot in my education and sacrificed a lot to now just give up. I have received multiple withdrawal suggestion notices from my university (as seen in the photos below), which I have been appealing since September 2023 in the hope that things would get better and I would be able to pay on time. The university was kind enough to be flexible with the payment timeline and hold back four more months, and I have been informed that the next step would be for me to withdraw from my education. During this time, I also applied for a full and partial fee waiver and appealed the university's decision many times, but unfortunately, I have not been successful. Not completing my degree at this point is a massive failure for me. I have to drop out of university and would have to leave the UK, and start all over again, which is an opportunity I may not get again.
I have searched for other options and found none; this is the last resort I could think of. Thus, the completion of my education now depends on you. I am not asking out of entitlement but rather out of desperation. I am seeking your help to cover my remaining tuition fee so that I can complete my degree.
Your support will not only contribute to my education, but it also carries the potential to serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for countless young girls in Afghanistan who, sadly, lack access to basic education. I know and understand that these are challenging times and everyone has one struggle or another, but if you can find it in your heart to contribute or share my story, it would mean a whole lot to me. Be a part of my story and make an impact.
I am also expressing my gratitude to each person who has taken the time to read my story thus far and consider supporting me. Your generosity and kindness are met with my heartfelt appreciation. I promise those who choose to donate will continue to give my best in my education, and I promise to remember your selfless contribution that has brought me hope in such a trying time of my life. Once I am in a position to, I shall give back in every way possible.
How the funds will be used:
£10,000: Remaining tuition fee for second year
£15,500: Tuition fee for third year
Once again, thank you for your assistance in contributing to and sharing my story. I will never forget your act of kindness, nor will I take it for granted.
- Mohammad Omer Aiuby
- Team Member
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