Student excited for future in opthalmology

Syed Zainuddin came from Pakistan to pursue his dream of becoming an optician. He tells us about his time at Leeds City College, studying on the Step Up to A levels (SUTA) programme.

Before I came here, I had no formal qualifications at all. At age 16, I was too old for secondary school so knew I needed to find an FE course.

Syed Zainuddin

SUTA offered me the chance to do five GCSEs, but I ended up enrolling on seven. My ambition was to study ophthalmology but I needed at least five good
GCSEs to do so.

In terms of my experience of SUTA, I loved learning and found the classes engaging and stimulating. I spent a lot time helping out fellow students, and I had exciting opportunities to go on residentials and conferences with the students’ union. I was also part of the Leeds Youth Council in addition to my studies.

Leeds City College helped me out with financial needs too such as a bursary and Chromebook to access blended learning. I found the tutors very supportive, and they identified my A level potential and encouraged me to do my best. I made good friends and had a great year.

On GCSE results day, even though I had expected good grades, I was thrilled with the amount of 9s that I achieved!

I received two 9s in science, a 9 in English language, an 8 in English literature, a 7 in law, a 9 in maths, and a 7 in psychology. I was absolutely thrilled.

I’m now studying A levels in three sciences and maths – I’m optimistic that I will be able to work in my chosen career. I am so thankful to Leeds City College, especially the SUTA team for helping me to get to where I am now.

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