Student, 21, ‘took his own life’ while studying at University of Nottingham


The devastated family of a 21-year-old student who died by suicide while studying at university have vowed to ‘always remember him with a smile’. 

University of Nottingham mathematics student Alex Barusevicus took his own life in his house in Lenton on January 21 – shortly after spending Christmas with his family at home. 

Alex – nicknamed Big A by his university friends – has been described as a talented rugby player and Yorkshire Tea lover who ‘never took things too seriously’.  

His mother Teresa Barusevicus, 48, spoke of her grief and shock after a police officer delivered the dreadful news that her ‘happy’ son who ‘had so many plans’ had died. 

University of Nottingham mathematics student Alex Barusevicus (pictured) took his own life in his house in Lenton on January 21

Alex (pictured) had recently returned to Nottingham after spending Christmas with his family at home

University of Nottingham mathematics student Alex Barusevicus (pictured) took his own life in his house in Lenton on January 21 – shortly after spending Christmas with his family at home

Alex's girlfriend, Georgia Hazell, 19, (pictured together) said the pair met on Valentine's Day last year

Alex’s girlfriend, Georgia Hazell, 19, (pictured together) said the pair met on Valentine’s Day last year

Mrs Barusevicus – a hospital worker – said: ‘I never thought it would happen to me. 

‘He loved being at university and was into sport and exercise – he had just started American football and played rugby here.

‘He was also into cycling like his older brother, Peter, who took him under his wing.

‘He had just got a new bike he bought second-hand and was working on it – he would ask me questions all the time for my opinion.

‘It’s all just such a shock to me. I was always there to pick him up from the train station when he comes home. I keep thinking he is just away at university.’ 

It was last month revealed that the mental health of university students has plummeted – with almost two thirds now saying they are more unhappy now than when the academic year began.

Alex's school friend Hayaat Karim, 20, (pictured with Alex) said: 'Alex was part of a close friendship group that all grew up together'

Alex’s school friend Hayaat Karim, 20, (pictured with Alex) said: ‘Alex was part of a close friendship group that all grew up together’

Alex (pictured) - nicknamed Big A by his university friends - has been described as a talented rugby player and Yorkshire Tea lover who 'never took things too seriously'

 Alex (pictured) – nicknamed Big A by his university friends – has been described as a talented rugby player and Yorkshire Tea lover who ‘never took things too seriously’

Students have faced a torrid year that has included long periods locked in their halls of residence amid outbreaks of coronavirus on campuses.  

Alex’s younger sister, Katrina, aged 15, added: ‘I’ll always remember him with a smile, always happy.

‘I knew he cared but he was annoying, and always joking about. 

‘He never took things too seriously and would always try new things. He loved studying, and his bike.’

Alex’s school friend Hayaat Karim, 20, said: ‘Alex was part of a close friendship group that all grew up together.

‘He liked climbing and visiting the lakes, and we had planned loads of trips.

‘His smile made you smile and he got on well with people, found it easy to make friends.’

In a heartbreaking tribute on Facebook, Hayaat wrote: ‘I lost one of my best mates. Alex Barusevicus. 

‘A man who was always smiling and always elated the mood of the room he was in. 

In a heartbreaking tribute on Facebook, Hayaat wrote: 'I lost one of my best mates. Alex Barusevicus.' Another friend Harvey Kemp said Alex 'was always smiling'

In a heartbreaking tribute on Facebook, Hayaat wrote: ‘I lost one of my best mates. Alex Barusevicus.’ Another friend Harvey Kemp said Alex ‘was always smiling’

‘An amazing, intelligent man and an even-better friend. Our entire friendship group shook, his memory forever in our hearts and his contagious laughter forever causing us to smile. Our hearts won’t ever be the same.’

Another friend Harvey Kemp wrote: ‘One of my best friends, Alex Barusevicus, sadly passed away. 

‘He attended Wilsden primary, Bingley Grammar School and then went on to study maths at the University of Nottingham. 

‘A funny, intelligent man who could light up any room with his contagious smile; I’m going to miss him so much.’ 

Alex’s girlfriend, Georgia Hazell, 19, said the pair met on Valentine’s Day last year.

Georgia, a Nottingham Trent University student, said she thought he was ‘good looking’ and ‘absolutely loved his smile’.

A memorial fund has been set up to raise £1,000 for a memorial bench in Alex's name. Pictured: Alex

A memorial fund has been set up to raise £1,000 for a memorial bench in Alex’s name. Pictured: Alex

His mother Teresa Barusevicus, 48, spoke of her grief and shock after a police officer delivered the dreadful news that her 'happy' son (centre) who 'had so many plans' had died

His mother Teresa Barusevicus, 48, spoke of her grief and shock after a police officer delivered the dreadful news that her ‘happy’ son (centre) who ‘had so many plans’ had died

‘He was really popular and there was a big group of friends in Nottingham,’ she added.

‘There wasn’t much we could do because of lockdown, but he loved to cook for me, which I’d never had before and he was so helpful with DIY or house stuff.

‘I wish he could have seen what people had to say about him. I don’t think he knew the catastrophic effect it would have on so many of us.’

A memorial fund has been set up to raise £1,000 for a memorial bench in Alex’s name, The Nottingham Post reports.

So far, its target has hit nearly £4,500 with any remaining funds going to his funeral costs and Mind mental health charity. 

A University of Nottingham spokesperson said: ‘As a community, we are deeply saddened by the sudden death of one of our students and send our sincere condolences to his family, friends and teammates who we are supporting at this difficult time.’

Alex's younger sister, Katrina, aged 15, added: 'I'll always remember him with a smile, always happy.' Pictured: Alex

Alex’s younger sister, Katrina, aged 15, added: ‘I’ll always remember him with a smile, always happy.’ Pictured: Alex

Detective Constable Dionne Love said: ‘Emergency services were called to a house in Albert Grove in Lenton following a report of a sudden death to a man.

‘Officers attended the property at around 12.40pm on 21 January 2021.

‘The death is not being treated as suspicious.’

A study by the Office for National Statistics last month  found a higher proportion of students (63 per cent) have reported a worsening in their wellbeing and mental health since the start of the academic year, compared with 57 per cent when polled in November.

Nearly two in five (37 per cent) students reported being ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ with their learning, compared with 29 per cent in November, according to an Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey.

A University of Nottingham (file image, pictured) spokesperson said: 'As a community, we are deeply saddened by the sudden death of one of our students'

A University of Nottingham (file image, pictured) spokesperson said: ‘As a community, we are deeply saddened by the sudden death of one of our students’

The findings came as the majority of university students in England have been told to stay at home and not return to campus until at least mid-February. 

A study by the Office for National Statistics found a higher proportion of students (63 per cent) have reported a worsening in their wellbeing and mental health since the start of the academic year, compared with 57 per cent when polled in November.

Nearly two in five (37 per cent) students reported being ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ with their learning, compared with 29 per cent in November, according to an Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey.

To donate to the fundraiser for Alex’s bench, click here. 

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details 



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