Plaistow teen who spoke little English four years ago wins a place at Cambridge University

PUBLISHED: 15:30 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:59 07 February 2018

Raluca Popan has won a place at Cambridge University. Picture credit: LAE.

Raluca Popan has won a place at Cambridge University. Picture credit: LAE.


A Romanian teenager from Plaistow who barely spoke English when she arrived in the UK just four years ago has won a place at Cambridge University.

Raluca Popan will read French and History at Homerton College in September after passing a rigorous entrance exam and impressing during a series of interviews.

The 18-year-old was offered extra tuition at The Cumberland School in Canning Town, which gained her the skills to go on and study for her A-Levels in History, French and English Literature at London Academy of Excellence (LAE) in Stratford.

She said: “I was shocked, more than shocked. People from my background don’t win places at Oxford or Cambridge, it just doesn’t happen.”

Gillian Dineen, Cumberland headteacher, added: “Raluca is not only an extremely gifted pupil she is also a shining example to others at this school of what can be achieved with the right motivation and support.”

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Hanson Fernandes’ journey began in 2015 when he arrived in London from Goa, India.

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