Double first as identical twins peak with top degrees at university

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Two sisters have been hailed Britain’s brainiest identical twins after they both achieved first class degrees in applied physics – and will now do PhDs.

Emmal and Hannah Safi, 21, from Southampton, graduated with first class honours degrees in the complex science from the University of Portsmouth.

Even more impressively, the pair have both secured places to do their PhD.

Next month, Hannah, who is 45 minutes older than her sister, is going off to study biosciences at University College London, while Emmal will be starting her doctorate in astrophysics at Keele University in September.

Emmal said: “It’ll be quite strange for the first couple of weeks because we’ve not really spent much time apart, but we are independent people.

“It’s going to be a good experience and a bit scary at first, I reckon.

“When we graduated, our entire family were there and the look on my mum’s face was priceless. She was beaming.”

The girls, who have two younger brothers and a younger sister, were home-schooled until the age of 16, where they went off to college to do their A-levels.

They reckon they got their brains from their father Sab, who earned his doctorate in electrical engineering, and their work ethic from their mother, who ran the busy household while home-schooling the twins.

Hannah said: “We are both fascinated by physics and love studying it.

“Our family taught us the value of education at an early age, and gave us help and support whenever we needed it, so we always knew we wanted to go into higher education. We are lucky that we have had each other to rely on.”

Emmal added: “I find it really easy to work with Hannah, we just get on with it, and if I’m stuck there’s someone there to help me.”

The sisters are fiercely competitive with each other, with Emmal achieving top 
marks of 85-90 per cent in her degree, while Hannah secured a no-less impressive 80-85 per cent.

Hannah said: “It’s all friendly though, we just want each other to be the best we can be.”