Twins from Saudi Arabia win joint Student of the Year 2015

Saudi Arabian twins Hasan and Husain Banafa joined De Montfort University’s (DMU) Leicester International Pathway College (LIPC) in 2014, winning joint Student of the Year 2015 on their foundation course before progressing onto BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance degrees.

 LIPC twins - For story

LIPC opened in the summer of 2014, helping to prepare international students for entry onto DMU degree programmes.

Hasan and Husain enrolled on the International Foundation Certificate (IFC) in Business and Law at LIPC; one of the many foundation routes students can take at the college.

94% of the 124 students who passed their LIPC courses since June 2014 have joined DMU degree programmes.

The identical twins from Jeddah, on Saudi Arabia’s western coast bordering the Red Sea, are part of LIPC’s success and shared their tale of life as globetrotting twins.

When asked about what it was like to study and travel together as twins, Hasan said: “We can be supportive and help with each other’s understanding of modules, by asking and relying on each other.

“We can experience a new experience together and help each other with a new language.”

He joked: “I am 5 minutes older than Husain though, so he has to respect me!”

Husain added: “It’s helpful because if I have to miss a class for sickness for example, I can ask Hasan. It’s like cheating, but legal!”

Competition, also, appears not to be an issue for these supportive twins. Hasan said: “It doesn’t matter if one of us does better.”

Husain continued: “The most important thing is that we both pass well.”


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Students who join LIPC are part of DMU’s truly international student community and are supported by a team of dedicated staff who help to connect them to the wider university.

Hasan said: “We were really well looked after by staff at LIPC and help was always available to prepare us for our degree.”

Husain added: “LIPC gives you a good picture of the education system in the UK.”

Now in his first year of BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance, alongside his brother, Hasan said: “I have friends in the UK who told me DMU was the best for business courses.”

Husain said: “The best part about studying at DMU is that they are providing a professional qualification in our field like ACCA and CIMA, and this will help us to get a good job; with an international certificate which is recognised everywhere we go.”

He continued: “Studying the first year is harder than when we were at LIPC. I like the challenge and the modules are now focusing on our field, getting deeper into the subject. I also like engaging with British students.”

Hasan added: “I like learning about and understanding more cultures, and meeting people from China, Nigeria, all over the world.”

LIPC twins - For story two

The twins with their Student of the Year 2015 certificates

Talking about why international study was beneficial, Husain said: “The benefits of travelling to a different country to study are that you get to learn a new language while obtaining an international qualification at the same time.”

Hasan added: “Also, when you return home, you can help those in your own country through what you have learnt.”

When asked what they would say to students who were thinking of coming to DMU, Husain said: “Don’t be hesitant to come to DMU. It is giving us the opportunity to study both a foundation and degree course in the same place, one after the other.”

Posted on Tuesday 17th November 2015

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