Monday 18 January 2016

UK Higher Education and Distinguished Alumni Achievements Celebrated in International Awards

18 January 2016 (HONG KONG) – The finalists for a prestigious award celebrating outstanding achievements of the UK’s international alumni have been announced, ahead of ten awards ceremonies taking place this year in Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the USA.

In each country, top alumni have been selected from more than a global total of 800 high quality applicants, many of whom were nominated by their host British universities. The Education UK Alumni Awards, created by the British Council in partnership with UK higher education institutions, are intended to recognise outstanding success in Entrepreneurism, Professional Achievement, and Social Impact by people who have studied at UK higher education institutions within the last ten years.

Applications were received from more than 110 British universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They were then reviewed by their respective university and panels of higher education experts in the applicant’s country of entry.

Jacqueline Jenkins, Senior Advisor, Education Engagement at the British Council said “It’s absolutely tremendous to see such inspirational stories demonstrating the impact that a UK education can have upon individuals and countries around the world. We had hundreds of excellent nominations and it was very difficult to filter it down to the finalists. These alumni are an outstanding credit to their universities and hopefully will serve as an inspiration to the next generation of ambitious international students.”

Robert Ness, Director of British Council Hong Kong added “I am delighted that we are able to launch the Education UK Alumni Awards in Hong Kong this year. The award is all about honouring the success of individuals whose achievements here in Hong Kong have been, in some measure, influenced by their experience of studying at a UK university. We celebrate with them and congratulate them not only on their impressive professional successes but in their capacity as 'ambassadors' for UK higher education.”

One of this year’s finalists is Kenneth Ng King Tsun, a finalist from Hong Kong for the Professional Achievement award. Kenneth received his master’s in International Development from the University of Bristol in 2010 and is now a renowned news reporter and political journalist. He hosts news documentary ‘News Magazine and weekly talk show ‘On the Record’ – one of the most respected and popular news programmes in Hong Kong. Kenneth says that the interaction among professors and classmates enhanced his critical thinking and broadened his vision – crucial in developing his skills as a journalist.

Allison Sawyer, a USA finalist for the Entrepreneurial Award, studied Nanoscale Physics at the University of Leeds in 2007-08. When she returned to the USA, she founded Rebellion Photonics, a tech-start-up focused on preventing explosions on oil rigs and refineries using unique optics technology. The company aims to make the oil and gas industry safer and cleaner and won the Wall Street Journal Start-Up of the Year in 2013. Allison says ‘I chose to continue my studies in applied physics in the UK because I knew I wanted to run an international technology company and that I would need an international perspective…my time in the UK was crucial to widening my horizons and forcing me to consider a global perspective.’

The first of this year’s Education UK Alumni Award ceremonies will be held in Hong Kong on 22 January 2016.

For full details on all of the finalists, please refer to the webpage

Notes to Editor

More information on the Education UK Alumni Awards 2016:

Education UK Alumni Award categories:

Professional Achievement Award
Recognises alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional industry, and who can demonstrate the highest level of integrity and character in their professional career.

Entrepreneurial Award
Successful applicants in this category will be active in initiating, or contributing to, innovative new business opportunities with strong growth prospects.

Social Impact Award
The Social Impact Award acknowledges alumni who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others

Alumni Awards Ceremony Details:

Hong Kong
Friday, 22 January 2016
The China Club, Hong Kong

Saturday, 30 January 2016
British Council, British Deputy High Commission, Karachi

Wednesday, 17 February 2016
British Consulate-General, Istanbul

Thursday 3 March 2016
Hotel Indonesia; Jakarta

Thursday 3 March 2016
Apella, Alexandria Center, New York City

Friday 4 March 2016
Intercontinental hotel, Lagos

British Centre, Sao Paulo
Monday 7 March 2016

Saturday, 19 March 2015
Rosewood, Beijing

Saudi Arabia
Date TBC March 2016
TBC, Riyadh

Date TBC early April 2016
British Council New Delhi

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