A student who got straight As in her A-levels can’t afford university place

A 19-year-old student who got straight As in her A-levels has had to turn down a university place because her parents can’t afford it.

Thao Thu Nguyen came on her own to the UK from Vietnam just two years ago and has achieved an A* in math, A in economics, A in physics and A in accounting at Bishop Challoner Sixth Form in Shadwell.

But despite getting into her first choice of university, the London School of Economics, she had to a place there down.

Thao said: “The fees are nearly �15,000 a year for international students, my parents back in Vietnam can’t afford it. My dad is unemployed and my mum runs a shop selling medical equipment.”

Thao rents a room in Hackney and works as a private math tutor for children to cover her living expenses here, but relies on her parents to pay her fees.

So instead she has had to accept a place to study accounting and finance

at City University, London, where she says the fees are �12,000 a year.

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But she is close to tears as she explains to the Advertiser that she is still worried whether her parents will be able to meet the cost of fees for the second and third year of her studies.

Thao, says that if she could get a scholarship her fees at City would drop down to �10,000 the first year. But in the current climate she doesn’t know where to try for a scholarship.

Asked why she came to the UK, Thao explains: “I wanted to challenge myself. Education in the UK is very good and if you get an English certificate you can get a job anywhere.

Thao finished high school in Vietnam, where she studied English for 11 years, but said: “In Vietnam there were 50 people in the class, so it was difficult to learn.”

Thao, who would like a job in accounting, added “It would be great to get a job here, it’s very difficult to get a job in Vietnam, but I would like to go home one day.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring Thao’s studies can contact school PA Dawn Whelan on 020 77919508.