I’m raising money for my Chemistry course because Student Finance won't help. Will you?

  • £26,317

    pledged of £25,907

    • 346


    • 0


This project received pledges on Fri 02 Oct 2015


I am Emmanuel – a 20 year old teaching assistant, musician and aspiring chemist. My goal is to work in collaboration with top scientists to tackle a global issue that confronts many people on a daily basis: equal access to affordable medication.

I will be studying the three-year Chemistry course at Imperial College London, a world renown centre of excellence in science. This degree will provide me with the scientific knowledge and problem-solving skills required to address this issue. You can have a look at how amazing the course is here.


There are a number of ambitious, academically-able young adults in my situation (explained in full detail here) being prevented from realising their ambitions and becoming better contributors to the country due to a change in the law that came into effect in 2012.

I have also been proactively working with ‘Let Us Learn’, a campaign to highlight the plight of students like myself. I appeared on BBC London News and on Radio 4’s PM programme detailing how this has had a profound effect on my life and on others.

The change in legislation prevents a large number of students educated within the British education system from accessing student finance and being classed as international students. Imperial's chemistry course costs £26,500 for international students and I am required to pay this every year for the duration of my course.

Fortunately, the TIKO Foundation have offered to pay my tuition fees for the duration of my course after tough rounds of interviews. I will be pledging £10,500 of my wages as a teaching assistant towards the tuition fees.

The fact that I am not entitled to student finance means that the remainder of the costs will have to be financed by me. I will be working over the summer to raise as much as I can but this will not be enough to cover the costs for accommodation and living expenses.

Living at home is not an option; my mother, myself and my 14 year old sister are temporarily accommodated in a room at her friend’s property and it is virtually impossible to work constructively in such circumstances.

Members of the ‘Let Us Learn’ campaign before a hearing at the Supreme Court



 - I was born in Ghana and lived in the UK since I was nine years old.

 - Attended Shacklewell Primary School, followed by Mossbourne Community Academy.

 - Received eight A*s and four As at GCSE and three As at A Level in Maths, Physics and Chemistry.

Photo taken by Emma Bartholomew of Hackney Gazette from A Level Results Day


I have loved music for as long as I can remember. I loved played in the Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra and every school production in secondary school.  At the moment, I have a residency at The Nest and XOYO as well as playing various private functions. You can listen to some of my mixes here and here.

Picture taken from one of the resident nights at XOYO in Shoreditch

I have also taken a keen interest in drumming over the years and have been playing authentic Brazilian samba for 7 years with Unaio Da Mocidade, where I now have the opportunity to give back as a director and with Paraiso School of Samba. Have a listen to some of our music and view our performances here, here and here!!!

Photos from a few samba gigs. First one being with Bloco X and second with Paraiso at our monthly residential night at Guanabara in Holborn.


In 2014, I set out to save the world: well, to do my bit at least. I arrived in Gambia tasked with improving the patient follow-up system of a section of the PROLIFICA Project (Prevention of Liver Fibrosis and Cancer in Africa) as a field researcher and lab assistant for the Medical Research Council (MRC).

A map showing the location of the MRC's Unit in Fajara, Gambia

I was responsible for running all the plasma (blood without the red blood cells), urine and saliva samples from a list of patients in search for a protein that could indicate a subject’s predisposition to liver cancer.

My work in the Gambia has solidified my passion to work in the pharmaceuticals industry to strive towards making medication more affordable across the globe. A publication including my findings during this placement will be available soon.

A photo of me working in the laboratories at the MRC Unit in Gambia, West Africa


Tuition fees - £26,500 (£79,500 for the whole course almost entirely covered by the TIKO Foundation)

Accommodation -  £6,800 (average weekly rent for single room - £179 – multiplied by the 38 week minimum contract length)

Living expenses (food, travel and course materials) - £3,000 (roughly £80 pw for the 38 week period)

This comes up to approximately £30,000 for the whole 3 year course (including PayPal fees)

I will be working when I can (as much as an intensive course like Chemistry permits) and receiving limited support from my mother and immediate family.

£25,907 is the amount I’m hoping to raise with your support (£25,000 including £907 Paypal Fee applied to every successful campaign)

My "minimum needed" is £8,636 which is the total cost for one year including 3.5% to cover PayPal fees.



Apart from helping to create an amazing scientist, I have come up with a list delightful REWARDS to show my appreciation for your support over here (SCROLL UP) =======>

ALL donations, whatever you are comfortable with, will be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you in advance to anyone willing to support me: I will be extremely grateful.

STAY GLUED to this page for updates and FOLLOW @LetUs_Learn to stay up-to-date with the campaign for a change in the law.

"Education is not a guarantee of great wealth or riches but is the guarantee against abject poverty."

Choose reward

Pledge £1 or more

Select this reward if you just want to donate to the project without receiving a reward.

190 claimed

Pledge £5 or more

A personal thank you message via social media to show my appreciation for your support.

19 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 November 2015

Pledge £10 or more

Access to a blog I will be writing about my time at university and my journey through the course.

72 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 November 2015

Pledge £20 or more

All the above and access to an online album of pictures documenting Notting Hill 2015 from a performer's perspective.

36 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 December 2015

Pledge £50 or more

All the above and access to a video + POV coverage of Notting Hill 2015 from a performer's perspective.

11 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 November 2015

Pledge £100 or more

All of the above and a copy of the publication on liver cancer prevalence in West Africa I contributed towards

14 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 March 2016

Pledge £200 or more

All of the above and FREE ENTRY to any gig of your choice (samba/DJing)

2 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 December 2016

Pledge £500 or more

All of the above plus 5 free Samba lessons (either dance or drumming) with Paraiso School of Samba [Notting Hill 2014 Winners]

2 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 October 2016

Pledge £1000 or more

All of the above and a chat over dinner at a restaurant of your choice.

0 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 July 2016

Pledge £2000 or more

All of the above and 3 months worth of FREE TUITION for any GCSE/AS Level student of your choice studying Science, or Maths *one day a week*

0 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 August 2016

Pledge £5000 or more

WOW!! A video of me shaving my hair for a wig/charitable course??

0 claimed

Estimated delivery: 1 May 2016