Legal student from Syria wins Student of the Year

Violet Hejazi, HND Legal Services’ graduate at City of Glasgow College, has won Student of the Year at the College Development Network Awards 2021.

The award recognises an individual student who has had a positive impact on others within the college and/or in their community.

Violet arrived in the UK from Syria as a refugee, aged 18, and has been living in Glasgow for 8 years. She is delighted to have won, saying:

“I'm incredibly proud to have won Student of the Year. No words could express my gratitude for this special acknowledgement of my effort and hard work during the past two years. Huge thanks to my amazing lecturers at City of Glasgow College for their continued support - promise to keep making you proud.

“I want to thank all the people who recognised my efforts and put my name forward for nomination, and those who chose me as the winner. I will be working harder now to achieve my dreams and to continue making myself and my loved ones proud of me.”

Emma Jackson, Curriculum Head, Legal Services, Business and Management at City of Glasgow College, said:

“Violet is an excellent example of the power of hard work and resilience. As a refugee from Syria to the UK at a young age, she has had a tragic beginning, but her capability and academic potential ensures that her future is bright. Not only has she completed her HND in Legal Services with three ‘A’ grades, but she also secured a place at Stirling University place to study law. We are delighted that her achievements have been so deservedly recognised.”

Violet also received the Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement at the college’s recent annual winter graduation. 

Arriving in the UK with little English, having left all her family and friends, she had to very quickly become independent and resilient. Believing that “Scottish education is her ticket to justice and freedom”, Violet graduated from the college with an HND in Legal Services, having achieved three ‘A’ grades, and is now at the University of Stirling where she continues to study law.

The 26 year old has been invited to speak at events to share her experiences as a refugee, and how refugee status has developed and evolved in the 21st century.

Violet started volunteering with the British Red Cross in 2015. She then began working as a freelance interpreter in 2017, and now has her own business and works with the Scottish Refugee Council, Freedom from Torture, The Daisy Project, as well as multiple law firms which brings her into contact with Police Scotland, the NHS, Scottish Prisons and Children’s Panels.