Thursday 26 February 2015

The finalists for a new prestigious award celebrating outstanding achievements of the UK’s international alumni have been announced, ahead of three awards ceremonies taking place over the next month in China, India, and the USA.

14 Indian, nine Chinese and ten American alumni have been selected out of hundreds of candidates put forward by their host British universities. The new Education UK Alumni awards, created by the British Council, are intended to recognise outstanding success in Entrepreneurism, Professional Achievement, and Social Impact by people who have graduated from UK higher education institutions within the last ten years.

21 British Universities have their alumni represented in the nominations categories [full list at end], after applications were reviewed by panels of higher education experts in China, India and the USA.

Jacqueline Jenkins, Head of Higher Education Engagement at the British Council said “The Alumni Awards allow UK higher education institutions to demonstrate and celebrate outstanding success of recent alumni on a global platform. There is a lot of focus on the great contribution that international students give to the UK, but we wanted to highlight what students take away with them when they return home, and how their time in the UK has provided a lasting experience. We had hundreds of nominations and it was very difficult to filter it down to these final 33. These alumni are an outstanding credit to their universities and hopefully will serve as an inspiration to the next generation of ambitious international students”.

Dr Gretchen Dobson, a leading global alumni relations consultant and Chair of the US judging panel said "Alumni relations is about relationships. The applicants who stood out among the pack were the alumni who clearly demonstrated how their UK education prepared them for competitive and demanding careers."

Du Sen, a Chinese finalist for the Professional Achievement award, was awarded a PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2014 in Geography, focussing on climate change policy. Since graduating, Du Sen was appointed President, and Chief Marketing Officer of MSP/DRILEX, a leading oil and gas service provider based in Shanghai. Du Sen believes his UK education widened his world view. The multicultural society in the UK encouraged him to consider global issues - enabling him to think more strategically and succeed in his career.

Amit Inamdar, an Indian finalist for the Entrepreneurial award, did a Masters in Product Design and Management at the University of Liverpool in 2007. Returning to India, Amit was able transform his ideas into viable products. Applying what he learned through his UK education, he founded PlusOne Design for Humanity. PlusOne makes school bags from non-recyclable materials demonstrating a unique way of promoting environmental protection to children, by taking hazardous environmental material and using it in a more useful way. Amit‘s creative venture has benefited more than 1000 children and is taking steps to reduce the landfill space filled with 70% of non-recyclable products.

Ruthe Farmer, who graduated with an MBA from the University of Oxford in 2008, is a US finalist for the Social Impact Award. Ruthe is now the Chief Strategy and Growth Officer for the National Centre for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), a non-profit organisation reaching 15,000 students, 900 teachers and 3000 volunteers nationwide. NCWIT provides a wide range of multimedia resources that are free and easy-to-use, with the goal of increasing women’s participation in computing and technology. Ruthe’s UK education provided her with both the language and culture to navigate corporate networks, and business skills to drive her vision of equality in STEM education to a national policy level.


Notes to Editor

Alumni Awards Ceremony Details:


Saturday, 28 February 2015

British Council New Delhi


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

InterContinental Ruijin Hotel, Shanghai 


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Apella, Alexandria Center, New York City

Interviews with all of the nominees are available on request.

The award winners will be announced after each ceremony.

List of UK Higher Education Institutions with 2015 finalists:

Aberyswyth University

Brunel University

Cardiff University

London Business School

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


Middlesex University

Queen Mary University of London


University of Birmingham

University of Cambridge

University of East Anglia

University of Essex

University of Exeter

University of Leeds

University of Liverpool

University of Manchester

University of Nottingham

University of Oxford

University of Stirling

University of Sussex


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. This is the award for self-starters, go-getters and risk-takers.

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.


 About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides less than 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

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