‘Education is not bound by age’
When Husen Ali moved to the UK in 2017 the then 16-year-old’s most pressing goal was to master English.
Now, following lots of hard work at first Keighley College and then Leeds Sixth Form College, Husen is half way through his A levels with his sights firmly fixed on pursuing a law degree at university.
He credits his tutors for giving him the skills and confidence to ‘dream bigger’ and gain the qualifications that have helped him decide on his future career – and says the value of lifelong learning can’t be overstated.
He said: “When I came to the UK around four years ago I could speak very little English, so to improve that I enrolled on an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) course at Keighley College.
“The time that I spent there was unforgettable as I met fantastic people, the staff were always polite and always helped me when I needed it, and the students were very diligent and fun to be around.
“On top of that, I consider myself very lucky because without the teachers that I had I wouldn’t be where I am today: they guided me and encouraged me to always do my best.
“At first, I was going to choose the engineering route at Keighley College but then one of my teachers suggested I should do my GCSEs first, as that would allow me to expand my options and help me discover what I truly like.
“If it wasn’t for that comment I wouldn’t have enrolled at Leeds Sixth Form College and discovered my passion for law.
“So I am really grateful that I met such fantastic people at Keighley who always pushed me and encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone so I could improve myself.”
A chance to keep improving and growing
With his GCSEs successfully acquired Husen is now studying hard for the A levels he needs to secure an offer to study law at university.
His educational journey has been a challenging but very rewarding one, and he is keen to encourage others to find the courses that will help them follow their dreams – whatever their age.
He said: “I have just completed my first year of A levels and in September I’ll start my final year and then go to university.
“My first choice would be Durham University, which belongs to the Russell Group. Although the acceptance rate is 69.4%, which shows that getting into Durham can be a bit competitive, I am confident that I’m capable of meeting the requirements needed.”
Reflecting on the Festival of Learning and its celebration of lifelong learning, he added: “No matter how old you are, pursuing education is never too late as education is not bound by age.
“Lifelong learning will allow you to keep improving and grow as a person, also it will give you a sense of satisfaction as learning new things gives us a feeling of accomplishment.”
To find out more about courses at Keighley College visit keighleycollege.ac.uk/courses-apprenticeships.
A wide range of courses are available to study for free, through the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, for anyone aged over 19 who doesn’t currently hold a Level 3 (A level equivalent) qualification. For more details visit leedscitycollege.ac.uk/lifetime-skills.
For more information about the Festival of Learning here leedscitycollege.ac.uk/festival-of-learning.