The pressures of university life could have led to the mysterious disappearance of a Bradford student a month ago, according to police.

Aamir Qudeer, 21, a first-year engineering student at Bradford University, was last seen in the city on February 26, before travelling by train to Leeds and then Liverpool.

His mother, Zatoon Qudeer, accompanied by Detective Inspector Neil Benstead, who is leading the investigation, made an emotional plea for the return of her son at a press conference in Bradford yesterday.

Det Insp Benstead said police were becoming increasingly concerned about Mr Qudeer, whose disappearance has been labelled “totally out of character”.

“There is nothing to suggest that anything sinister has happened, this is a young man finding his way in life,” he said. “But it is fair to say that university was a challenge for Aamir, and I would look to that as a reason.

“I am sure it will have unsettled him, but there is nothing significant as a trigger point to suggest why he went missing. It was a challenge academically and it was difficult for him, but it’s difficult for thousands of students.

“His problems were nothing unusual, and I would hope he has got his head together and realised it isn’t such an issue, and will come home.

“It is a complete mystery as to where he’s gone, but I believe he is alive and would urge him to make contact to assure us he is safe and well.”

The last sighting of Mr Qudeer was captured on CCTV in Mulgrave Street in Liverpool at 6.55pm, after he walked through the city from Lime Street station. Police said his phone had been switched off since 10.30pm that day, and that he had not accessed his bank account since going missing, having left Bradford with only £180.

His e-mail account was accessed via a Blackberry device on March 11, but police said they could not confirm who accessed it, or pinpoint where the use took place.

Mr Qudeer, who lives at Forster Hall student accommodation on Great Horton Road, had spent the weekend prior to his disappearance with his family in the Moortown area of Leeds, and his mother said he seemed to just be following his “normal” routine.

“We didn’t know anything about problems at university or with his course, but the police have mentioned possible pressures with exams and living away from home,” she said. “But he’d been away six months, and he looked happy.

“His safety is what is concerning us the most. If we knew he was safe and just needed to take time out or have his own space, we would be a lot happier knowing that he was okay.

“We just want him to come home, and whatever the problem is we’re all there for him and will sort it out as a family.”

A spokesman for the university said: “We are aware that Aamir Qudeer has been missing for four weeks, and continue to work with police and help with their inquiries.”

Mr Qudeer, who has no known links to Liverpool, is 5ft 5ins tall and was wearing a grey long-sleeved top, a dark body warmer, dark trousers and dark shoes when last seen.

Anyone with any information should contact police on 101.