James Gifford-Mead

Applications for the Alumni Awards are now closed.

1. Eligibility

Find out if you are eligible.

You can also read our frequently asked questions for further advice and support at the bottom of the page.

For inspiration, take a look at the profiles of previous finalists and winners. 

2. Format of the awards

Take a look at the timeline of the shortlisting process and national, regional and global awards.

We will notify all applicants of the outcome of their application by 1 March 2018 at the latest. Applicants from selected countries hosting national awards will be notified by December 2017 and informed of national award celebrations by the British Council in their country of entry. 

Regional Alumni Award winners will be announced through digital celebrations in March 2018 and entered into the Global Alumni Awards. The three winners of the Global Alumni Awards will be announced and celebrated through a global digital campaign in April 2018 and invited to the UK. 

Find below Alumni Awards 2017-18 Entry Rules (Terms and Conditions).

1. The Study UK Alumni Awards

The Study UK Alumni Awards (The “Alumni Awards”) are operated by or on behalf of the British Council to recognise and honour the outstanding achievements made by alumni who have studied at, or for a qualification awarded by, a UK Higher Education Institution*.

The awards operate on three levels: national, regional and global awards. Alumni submit one application, which will be considered for the regional awards in most cases, or for national awards if operating in their country. The list of countries taking part in national awards is below. Highest scoring applicants for national awards will be entered into the regional awards, alongside all other applicants from other countries not hosting national awards. The 21 winners of the regional awards (three award categories per country) will be celebrated digitally. The three global award winners will be celebrated digitally and will win return flights to the UK.

There are three award categories at each award level. These are:

  • Professional Achievement Award – recognising UK alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional industry, and who can demonstrate the impact and scale of their achievements in their profession, and beyond. 
  • Entrepreneurial Award – recognising UK alumni who are active in initiating or contributing to innovative or creative new ideas, solutions or business opportunities that have the potential for strong growth
  • Social Impact Award – recognising UK alumni who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others

Alumni who are selected as finalists for the Alumni Awards will be allocated to the award category that best matches their experiences and impact, as described on their application form. No applicant may win more than one Award at any one level. 

Countries hosting National level Alumni Awards:

  • China 
  • Egypt
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Malaysia
  • Pakistan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Thailand
  • USA
  • Mauritius

2. Eligibility

The Alumni Awards are open to individuals who:

Are currently residing in any country outside of the UK;


are alumni who were officially enrolled at a recognised* or listed** UK Higher Education Institution, having studied at degree level***, in the last 15 years (i.e. in/from 2002 or onwards), either physically in the UK at that institution for a minimum of one term/semester, or have been awarded a full UK degree level (or higher) qualification, by a recognised or listed UK university, through a local branch campus or institution outside the UK. 

*Recognised bodies are higher learning institutions that can award degrees. A full list is on this website.

**Listed bodies are higher learning institutions that offer courses in the UK that can lead to a degree from a recognised body. They are listed on this website.

***Degree level is defined as band 9 and above on the UK NARIC band framework. 

3. Alumni Awards dates

The opening date of the Alumni Awards 2017 is 12 midday BST on 3 July 2017. The closing date for all applications except China (2 October) has been extended to 23.59 BST 16 October 2017. Any entry received before the opening date or after the closing date will not be accepted. The British Council accepts no responsibility whatsoever for any technical failure or malfunction or any other problem with any system, server, provider or otherwise that may result in any entry being lost, delayed or not properly registered.

Applicants whose application is found to be ineligible will be notified from 9 October 2017 onwards.

Finalists of national level awards in all countries except China will be notified between 1 November and 1 December 2017. Finalists of national level awards in China will be announced by 31 October 2017. Winners of national level awards will be announced between 15 November 2017 – 30 March 2018. 

Finalists and winners of regional level awards will be notified and announced by mid-April 2018, winners of the global level awards will be announced in April 2018. This notification will be made to the email address provided by the applicant when registering for the Alumni Awards in accordance with section 4 of these Entry Rules.

4. How to enter (applications are now closed for 2017-18 entry)

The Alumni Awards will be promoted through the British Council official channels including the website www.britishcouncil.org and through third party channels e.g. UK universities. Paper applications will not be accepted.

To apply, applicants must access the www.britishcouncil.org/education-uk-awards pages and then follow these steps:

  • Enter their first and last name and email address where indicated.
  • Enter details of the UK Higher Education Institution and contact details.

There is no option to nominate alumni this year.

All applicants are required to:

  • Provide three short statements describing:
  1. their success and achievements and the impact of their achievements on their profession, coummunity and country;
  2. how their experience of studying in the UK/for a qualification from a UK university helped them to achieve their success, and
  3. how they have shared their UK study expreience with others.
  • Accept these Entry Rules by clicking the box in the application form.
  • Click on the button to submit the application. 

Applicants cannot save their application before submitting it: all applications must be submitted via the online application portal. Incomplete applications will not be saved on the system or accepted.

Unsuccessful applicants may reapply for the Alumni Awards in subsequent years, however they must submit a new application form as per the application process and terms and conditions for that year. Winners of Alumni Awards are not permitted to reapply to the competition in subsequent years.

Those who are selected as finalists will be asked to provide their CV/resume and a reference between October 2017 and March 2018.

Applicants’ data will be shared and verified with the alumni’s UK Higher Education Institution as well as the British Council in the UK and overseas. The British Council reserves the right to independently check all information provided by applicants and referees. 

Should the applicant be found to have submitted false information, and/or have provided falsified information through referees in support of their application, the applicant will be disqualified from the Alumni Awards. Any titles already awarded (finalist or winner) will be removed from the applicant during or after the Alumni Awards.

5. Selection of winning entries and Award Ceremony

The Alumni Awards will consist of a multi stage selection process. Alumni applicants submit one application only.

After the closing date of 16 October 2017 23.59 BST (2 October for China), all applications will be reviewed to ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria. 

National level awards

British Council country offices who are hosting national level awards will then review applications from alumni in their respective countries and select the top 10%. 

The shortlisted applications will then be reviewed by a panel of judges convened by the British Council in the applicants’ country of entry. The panel of judges will review all applications against the same judging criteria (listed below). Applications that demonstrate the highest levels of evidence of meeting each of the criteria will be awarded the highest scores. The highest scoring applicants will be selected as finalists and allocated to an award category, based on the skills and experiences described in their application. Between three and five finalists, including one winner, for each of the three award categories will be selected. Finalists may also be invited to take part in a short interview with the judging panel. Finalists’ applications will be verified by their UK higher education institution. 

 Applications will be assessed on the extent to which they meet the following four criteria:

  • Scale of impact in their profession, society and country 
  • UK influence: evidence of particular aspects of their UK education that helped them to achieve their success
  • Media traction: extent to which the alumnus/na’s story is likely to resonate with local/national media
  • Inspiration to the next generation of prospective students in country of entry 

The judges’ decision is final and binding. The panel of judges will include at least one member who is independent of the British Council and Alumni Award sponsors/partners. 

The Alumni Awards reserves at its sole discretion the right to not to make any particular award in any given Category or disqualify any entry that does not meet the entry requirements. 

No correspondence will be entered into with unsuccessful applicants.

Regional level awards

Highest scoring applications from national awards will be reviewed alongside all other applications from alumni in all countries not hosting national awards. This will be by a panel of judges with representatives from each of the seven regions, convened by the British Council, who will be assessing applications against the same judging criteria as above. The 21 winners of the regional awards will be entered into the three global awards (Professional Achievement, Entrepreneurial and Social Impact Awards).

6. Award Celebrations

National award winners will be announced online and at events. Finalists of national level awards will be informed by their local British Council office of the format of the Alumni Awards celebration in their country.

In the cases where countries are hosting national award ceremonies, national level finalists who are invited to and choose to attend are responsible for covering their own expenses, including accommodation, subsistence, visas, insurance, international or domestic travel costs or other ancillary costs arising out of participation in The Awards, unless otherwise expressly stated by the British Council. 

National level finalists invited to an Award Ceremony in their country will be provided with one guest ticket (free of charge) to accompany them. In addition the British Council will invite a representative from finalists’ UK Higher Education Institutions. Conditions stated in section 7 and 9 in this document also apply to guests. 

If the country or location of an Awards Ceremony becomes unsafe due to an event of Force Majeure, including but not limited to war, earthquake, typhoon, adverse weather, strike, fires, floods, terrorism, pandemics, acts of god and any natural disaster, the British Council reserves the right to cancel an Award Ceremony with immediate effect. 

Attendees will be responsible for any cancellation charges on flights, accommodation and any other costs that they may incur in respect of such cancellation. 

Regional and global award winners will be celebrated digitally. There will be no physical award ceremony at these levels.

7. Personal data

The British Council will collect and store the names and email addresses of all applicants and the additional application details as anticipated by section 4 above. The British Council will use this personal data for the following purposes: 

  • managing the relationship between the applicants and the British Council; 
  • communicating with applicants to answer their queries about the Alumni Awards; 
  • communicating with Shortlisted and Finalist applicants; 
  • validating and sharing all data provided with the applicant’s UK University; 
  • marketing and publicity in accordance with section 8 below. 

If an applicant is selected as a finalist, the British Council may use the facilities of reference checking agencies and/or contact the finalists’ referees to verify information provided in finalists’ application forms and references. 

Where an applicant has consented to the British Council doing so, the British Council may contact the applicant using the personal data collected to provide information about the goods, services, courses or promotions that the British Council offers. 

By participating in the Alumni Awards, applicants consent to their personal data being processed by the British Council in accordance with, and for the purposes set out in, this section 7. 

Applicants can exercise their rights to access their personal data held by the British Council and withdraw their consent to the processing of their personal data. Further information on this process can be found on the British Council’s corporate website

8. Publicity and rights

The British Council intends to publish the names and photographs of the finalists and winners on the British Council’s, and partners’, websites and social media pages, press releases and in other promotional and marketing material. In addition, the British Council may write and publish articles about the finalists and winners. Publicity material of winners and finalists will be shared with their UK Higher Education Institution. By entering the Alumni Awards, each applicant agrees to the use of their name and image and agrees to co-operate with any such publicity or marketing if they are selected as an Alumni Award Finalist or Winner. 

By entering the Alumni Awards each applicant grants the British Council, Alumni Award Partner organisation and own Higher Education Institution, free of charge, permission to use the entry material in any way it wants (including, without limitation, modifying and adapting it for operational and editorial reasons) in any media worldwide. Each applicant confirms that the entry material is their original work, is not defamatory and does not infringe any English laws, that they have the right to give the British Council and their former UK university/ies permission to use it for the purposes specified above, and that all necessary consents for the submission of the entry material have been obtained. 

All rights in the British Council’s name and logo, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter pages, press releases and other promotional and marketing material and all course and examination content and materials (together the “Council’s Materials”) shall vest in and remain with the British Council (or its licensors). By participating in the Alumni Awards, applicants agree that they will not use, broadcast, publish, export, exploit, reproduce nor copy part or all of the Council’s Materials.

9. Photography and Recording

If you are invited to, and attend, a national Award Ceremony, you agree to the following: 

  • I agree to the British Council photographing and/or recording me and give permission to the British Council to use any material in the photographs and/or recordings where the copyright or any other rights are owned by me and waive all my moral rights and performers’ rights (if any) in the photographs and recordings; 
  • I confirm that the British Council and partners shall be entitled to use the photographs and/or recordings made of me in their original format or edited, adapted or altered, for the purposes of the British Council’s internal and external promotional and publicity materials and for any programmes, publications, websites, electronic publications and social media services worldwide produced by or on behalf of the British Council and partners; and 
  • I agree that the British Council and partners shall be entitled to pass the photographs and/or recordings of me, and my name, to external press and media agencies, publishers and broadcasters, Higher Education Institutions and to partners and other third parties with which the British Council works, anywhere in the world, for the purposes of the Alumni Awards. 

Alumni Award national Finalists will be asked to provide a professional style photo and short personal summary to be used for display during the Awards and/or to publicise their win.

10. Prize

Finalists and winners at all levels (national, regional and global) will benefit from their global profile being made more visible through press and publicity opportunities, and building their professional networks. The three Global Alumni Award winners will be invited to the UK for a professional networking opportunity in Summer 2018.

The British Council accepts no responsibility for failure to notify winning participants or in the cases of national level Alumni Awards, failure to deliver the trophy where such failure results from the provision of inaccurate contact details by the applicants or from the acts or omissions of any third party (including, without limitation, any internet or postal service provider) and shall have no liability to any entrant if it is prevented from or delayed in delivering any aspect of the Alumni Awards or the prizes by acts, events, omissions or accidents beyond its reasonable control.

11. General

The British Council may disqualify or refuse to accept the entry of any applicant which does not meet the eligibility criteria in section 2 or does not otherwise comply with these Entry Rules. 

These Entry Rules shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any disputes or claims (including, without limitation, non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with the Alumni Awards. 

The Website may include links to third party websites that are controlled and maintained by others. Any link to other websites is not an endorsement of such websites and you acknowledge and agree that Alumni Awards is not responsible for the content or availability of any such sites. 

12. Acceptance of Entry Rules

By participating in the Alumni Awards, applicants are deemed to have accepted these Entry Rules.