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Essex: Star A-level student says ‘No thank you Cambridge’ as she heads off to study Stateside

18:30 14 August 2014

Jouja Maamri is one of the top scoring A-level students at Colchester Sixth Form College on Thursday, 14 August.

Jouja Maamri is one of the top scoring A-level students at Colchester Sixth Form College on Thursday, 14 August.

One Essex student and aspiring journalist has turned down an offer to study at Cambridge University.

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Instead Witham resident Jouja Maamri, 18, is heading Stateside in a week’s time to study politics at Barnard College, part of the Ivy League-member Columbia University in New York.

Jouja, who went to The Maltings Academy before taking A-levels at the Colchester Sixth Form College, got A* grades in economics, politics and citizenship, as well as an A in English literature and a B in History.

She is heading to the USA on a scholarship as part of the prestigious Sutton Trust programme, awarded in December, taking some of the pressure off but Jouja still wanted to earn her Cambridge place – and did so.

Jouja said: “I was very happy, the results were very unexpected.

“The college is great, I’ve had all the support I needed and there is a great atmosphere.”

College principal Ian MacNaughton said: “We have found Jouja to be a remarkably mature and determined young woman. Jouja quickly became an extremely active member of our community and, in addition to her exceptional academic record, she has been able to make a real impact.”

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