Mayu says his studies helped to shape his future

Graduation 2019 Monday

A graduate who fled war-torn Sri Lanka six years ago has achieved a personal goal which he set himself when he arrived in Middlesbrough.

Mayu Tharan, who has graduated with a BSc (Hons) Cybersecurity from the University’s School of Computing & Digital Technologies, was just 21 when he came to this country.

After settling in Middlesbrough on asylum support, he spent a lot of time in the town centre public library, developing this language skills. Mayu, 27, said: “I could speak some English, but the North-East accent was a bit difficult to understand at first.

“I instantly found Middlesbrough to be a really warm, friendly place and I made friends. I kept walking past the University and it became my dream to study there one day. I feel so lucky that just a few years later I have been able to graduate.”

He added: “I studied a foundation degree in computer networking, then progressed to the degree. The University really motivates its students and for me, it has shown me a completely new world.”

Mayu said: “When I came to England to escape the civil war I felt very alone and it was scary. It was a big adjustment and I am grateful to my solicitor, Naga Kandiah, who helped me settle in this country and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. He helped me realise that this country offers a safe life and motivated me to pursue my educational aspiration.

“Coming to Teesside University has changed my life and it has given me opportunities which I had never dreamed of.”

Mayu, who says his ambition is to work for the British police, volunteered with local police forces while studying towards his cybersecurity degree.

He said: “I am proud to be here and wanted to do something to help pay this country back. I worked full-time while studying for the degree. I didn’t want to waste any opportunity presented to me. I want to show that with hard work you can make your life better.”