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Glasgow Uni awards unconditional offer to asylum seeker fearing deportation

Somer Ummed Bakhsh is set to study Physics and Astrophysics this September

A 16-year-old asylum seeker has been made an unconditional offer to study at Glasgow after a high-profile media campaign to keep him in the country.

Somer Umeed Bakhs's family fled Pakistan to Glasgow in 2012 after his family received death threats due to their Christian Faith.

The family were repeatedly refused asylum but a 100,000 strong petition from the Church of Scotland led the UK Government to overturn their decision.

Somer achieved four As and a B in his Higher exams, despite the difficult conditions that led him to Glasgow.

Headteacher Linda Hamilton wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations to Somer Umeed who had an unconditional for Glasgow University for Physics and Astrophysics”.

Somer and his brother Areeb were granted “limited leave to remain” in the UK until February 2022 last year.

Upon hearing the news, Somer, who is now in sixth year at school studying three Advanced Highers, said: “We have gone through a tough time and I am really happy that we now have the freedom to stay in the country we love.

“I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders because the threat of deportation was always in the back of my mind.

“Scotland is my home, I have grown up here, all my friends are here and I feel like a Scottish boy.”

The offer by Glasgow Uni was welcomed by members of the community and those that had helped the family gain asylum in the country. Former Labour MP for Glasgow North East, Paul Sweeney, said “Brilliant news! Congratulations to him and so deserved after everything he's been through.”

Bob Doris, SNP MSP for Maryhill and Springburn, added: “Amazing news. Thoroughly deserved. Congratulations Somer!”

Somer is set to begin studying Physics and Astrophysics this September.