LLB Law student and refugee, Begzat Mirayev, graduated with top marks after learning English, working to fund his course and defying his doubters


Begzat migrated to the UK in 2016 after facing human rights violations in his home country.

The then 20-year-old faced a daunting interview on his own with the Home Office, but was determined to enter the UK where he could fulfil his dream of a career in law.

“I remember feeling nervous as I arrived at the airport – I was scared they were going to send me back,” said Begzat.

Now aged 25-years-old and living in North-East London, the aspiring barrister admits that although he had support, there were some who told him to give up on his career plans. Ignoring their advice, the City graduate has now set his sights on a career in helping the vulnerable.

Begzat Mirayev (LLB Law 2021)
Begzat Mirayev (LLB Law 2021)

“My first challenge in the UK was learning English,” said Begzat. “People would laugh at the way I spoke and I couldn’t express myself very well and that hurt me. However, I used this as motivation. I slowly started to learn with free English classes online and by repeating the people I would meet”, he continued.“

"I knew education was something I had to pursue. My qualifications from home were not transferable in the UK so I had to enrol on a foundation course at another university before I could study a degree.”

To fund his education, Begzat worked 10-11 hours a day in construction while juggling his English lessons and course work.

"This time was difficult for me. Some of my career advisors and teachers throughout my first few years in the UK would advise me to revaluate my ambitions to study law and that I did not have the skills or ability to finish the degree”, Begzat admitted.

It felt like because I couldn’t speak good English, I was being dismissed before I had even started. I was determined to prove my doubters wrong and said to myself that I will study law and I will do it at City.

– Begzat Mirayev (LLB Law 2021)

Fulfilling the promise he made to himself, Begzat not only successfully enrolled at City but engaged in mooting competitions with fellow students and co-founded the Justice and Peace Society with City’s Students’ Union – later becoming the group’s president.

Begzat said: “I have been lucky enough to work with great friends, professors and practicing lawyers all who have encouraged and inspired me. With their help we formed the society and set out to help fellow students and people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We do free pro-bono work in our communities and volunteer at Citizens Advice. We also hold workshops discussing how we can address the human rights issues which face us globally.”

Begzat now aims on studying the Bar and has received a scholarship from law institution Middle Temple. The City graduate also aims to challenge the negative perceptions of refugees.

I want to be a barrister and show that what we see in the media about refugees is not always true. There are hardworking people who have migrated to this country and have earned every opportunity they get.

I have met many people with similar backgrounds to mine and like me, they all want to work hard and give back to our new home.

I still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be, but I am confident and I believe in myself. I am ready to keep going and graduation is only the start.

– Begzat Mirayev (LLB Law 2021)

For more information about Law at City see the City Law School.


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