Son of Kosovan refugees will find out tomorrow if he is going to Oxford University

PUBLISHED: 14:00 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:37 16 August 2018

Edi Rama, 18, hopes to read maths at Corpus Christie College in Oxford, Pic: Tom Barnes

Edi Rama, 18, hopes to read maths at Corpus Christie College in Oxford, Pic: Tom Barnes


The son of Kosovan refugees whose family fled the Balkan battlefields will find out on tomorrow if he has got the A-Level results to get into the country’s best university

Edi Rama, 18, from Barking, is a student at Newham Collegiate Sixth Form in East Ham, and he needs to score top marks to take up a place at the world-famous Corpus Christi College at Oxford University, to read Maths in September.

Edi has been predicted an A* in his maths, further maths, physics and chemistry.

It is a far cry from the battlefields his painter and decorator dad Arsim, 48, and receptionist mum Gezime, 42, escaped in the mid-1990s – as they are only too quick to remind him.

Edi said: “They are often reminding us how lucky we are to be living in the UK.

“They don’t talk much about what happened but they make sure we know how different their childhoods were to ours.

“It is very difficult for me to appreciate just how hard it was for them because I was born here and have known nothing else. It seems remote for us but obviously not for them.

“It will mean so much to them if I manage to get into Oxford. They are so grateful for everything this country has given us.

“If they had not left Kosovo and been caught up in the fighting, chances they would not have lived long enough to have children, let alone have one going to the best university in the world.”

Edi’s parents fled Serb controlled Kosovo as the civil war was raged, arriving in Germany in 1995.

After the war ended they were told by authorities they had to return to Kosovo.

Fortunately, they gained asylum in the UK moving here in 1999 and settling in Barking.

Edi added: “I am not really sure where my brains have come from. Guess it is just luck.

“I know I was bright from about the age of seven when I was finishing work much quicker than everyone else.

“Oxford was a big dream for me for a long time. A lot of my success is down to the sixth form I attend.

“People here come from a variety of different background but we all share a belief that we can succeed at whatever we choose to do.

“A lot of that s down to the confidence instilled in us by this sixth form.”

“We are pushed to reach their potential.”

Earlier this year, Edi was among just a handful of recipients of the Harvard University book award.

The award is given to students applying for a place at the university who have excelled academically.

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