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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.

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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