Dreaming of better

Sinan Haji, a scholarship recipient, reflects on his LSE journey

Thanks to the New Futures Fund scholarship, I now have the financial support to continue my education

Sinan Haji, BSc Economics 2022

4 3 sinan

Your support has enabled me to look beyond a challenging childhood and first year at LSE, and plan for a better life.

I don’t say this lightly.

I have had to overcome a number of barriers just to get to LSE. I came to the UK when I was nine years old with my family, but by 12 I had been taken into care: my entire teenage years were spent without parental support. And I had concerns about my immigration status and financial support – plenty for a young person to worry about.

I’m not sure what it was that drove me to do well in school, but I think it was a combination of, first, not wanting to be defined by my circumstances; I probably used the studying as a form of escapism. And second, dreaming of better. I used to think that “if I can make it to university, things will be better”. But with only 4% of care leavers attending university in the UK, the odds of my demographic attending an elite university, let alone getting a degree, have always been very low.

My first year studying Economics at LSE was a shock to my system. It was mostly a culture shock – I didn’t really meet anyone like me — and some of my classmates were from very different socio-economic backgrounds. LSE was a springboard: they were thinking about internships and activities that would make their resumes look good, thinking beyond their time at LSE.

For me at the time, coming to LSE was simply the fulfilment of a dream I had had for a long time, and I had not really made plans for what I was going to do ‘next’. So the new environment, combined with financial difficulties, made me feel really discouraged.

I took a year out to work and try to straighten things out, and followed the lead of my peers in pursuing an internship. It made me appreciate once more the role my education could play in my life, and with renewed vigour I resumed my studies at LSE.

This has been made possible by you. Thanks to the New Futures Fund scholarship, I now have the financial support to continue my education and be exposed to better career opportunities and different people. 

I’m still in my second year at LSE and am growing a huge amount, both academically and personally. For this, thank you. I will always be eternally grateful to you for changing my life.

Sinan Haji
BSc Economics 2022  
The Student Support Scholarship Fund, via New Futures studentships, offers essential means-tested financial support to LSE students in the form of full or partial awards. This can include 'top-ups' to students whose other funding does not fully cover the cost of their tuition.

Find out more