Sudanese former refugee achieves first-class engineering degree at UCLan

Posted on - 20th December, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, People, Preston News, Proud Preston, UCLan
Sami Hary

A former refugee who arrived in the UK not knowing much English has found academic success at UCLan.


Sami Hary was only 18 when he fled Sudan to escape the conflict. But he attended his graduation ceremony this week, where he received a first-class honours degree in engineering six years after arriving.

He is now studying for a Master’s degree in oil and gas engineering at UCLan and is looking forward to beginning his new career.

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The 25-year-old said: “I arrived as a stranger in 2015. I was far away from my family and knew very little English, so it was a struggle at first.

“I picked up the language quite quickly though and studied a level three science access course at Preston’s College, which then led to my studies at UCLan.

“I carried out extensive research into the university to make sure it was the right course for me. I was also given a lot of support, particularly during the lockdown, and now I have the skills and knowledge I need.”

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Sami found inspiration in his older sister Sara to study for an oil and gas safety engineering degree.

He said he has always been interested in the field, as Sara is an engineer, and he loves her work.

Sami said: “I read a book called The Prize by Daniel Yeargin, which generated my interest in engineering, and I was also encouraged by my parents.

“Engineering really does matter in the practical world.”

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Dr Hamid Reza Nasriani is course leader for oil and gas engineering at UCLan and congratulated Sami.

He said: “We’re so proud of the countless hours of study and hard work that he put into finishing his degree.

“Education is not like filling a pail but lighting a fire. It allows us to explore, discover and dream.”

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Sami thanked everyone who supported him over the last few years, particularly his parents and family back home in Sudan.

He also thanked his friends Amy and Lucy Vaughan, who helped him with his university application forms, and his UCLan student coach, Colette Davies.

He said Colette, who he considers part of his UK family, was there whenever he needed help or advice.

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Sami said: “I’m very happy with my achievements.

“Especially as I’ve worked hard to overcome many difficulties, including learning a new language and navigating a new education system.”

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