Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Michaella McCollum reveals she lost place at university 'over dodgy past'

Michaella McCollum in the RTE interview broadcast
Michaella McCollum in the RTE interview broadcast

By Jane Fletcher

A British university has refused to accept Michaella McCollum onto an International Business Management course because she is a "potential risk" to other students.

The drugs mule has revealed her application for the course was initially successful until they realised she was one of the Peru Two.

After studying psychology and sociology in college, the Dungannon woman did a Spanish A-level and applied and was accepted for university in Great Britain to study International Business Management.

She claims: "I had enrolled, I'd already rented a house in the city, I had half moved over, then two weeks ago they removed me because of my past.

"They gave me a few reasons - they said I was a potential risk to their students, to their reputation, to the community. I was going to appeal it, but then I decided… for me to make that decision, to move, with my children, away from my family, was massive and my family were heartbroken.

"I felt really guilty, but I really want a degree and to have a successful career and I felt going there was going to be the best thing, even though it was going to hurt my family.

"But their decision left a bad taste in my mouth… I felt kicked to the ground a wee bit. I know I could appeal it, but it would take a lot of time and I felt so emotional with the book and everything, and I thought this will be more emotion and stress and maybe it isn't the right time to do that."

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Instead, she will wait a year, then apply for university in Belfast.

McCollum claims she has turned her life around and hopes people see beyond her conviction with the release of her book.

"Yes, I made a mistake, but we all make mistakes. Mine was really bad, but I was young and I think I've proved that I'm not that kind of person - taking drugs and committing crime after crime. I am really trying," she adds.

Michaella McCollum
Michaella McCollum

Belfast Telegraph


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