16 July 2015

Legendary designer and UK alumnus Professor Jimmy Choo OBE joined more than 120 representatives from UK universities, government and higher education agencies at a reception event last night at the British Council in London.

The reception was to celebrate the UK’s role in international higher education, as well as the achievements of the winners of the 2015 Education UK Alumni Awards. Jimmy Choo spoke about his experiences of coming from Malaysia to study in the UK in the 1980s, and how it transformed his life and enabled him to become one of the world’s best known shoe designers.

More than two million alumni have studied at UK universities within the last ten years. Sir Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council, spoke proudly of how these alumni have experienced the UK’s “openness to new ideas, to sharing results and research, to genuine intellectual exchange. The kind of approach that leads to new ideas and better solutions.”  

It’s these new ideas and approaches that are celebrated by the Education UK Alumni Awards. Inaugurated in 2014-15, in partnership with the British Council, UK universities and UK government, the awards honour the outstanding achievements made by professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders. Eight of the nine recent award winners from China, India and the US joined Jimmy Choo in sharing their stories on how their UK education has been integral to their success. 

Ella Wang, winner of the Social Impact Award in China, explained how winning the award has helped her take stock and appreciate all that she has achieved so far, and the positive impact she can have on the world through her work.

"When you stop and look back you get a new understanding of your past, and this gives you more energy and motivation going forward. It has helped me identify what I really want to achieve within the next five to ten years."

The British Council announced that the Education UK Alumni Awards will be significantly expanded from three to 11 countries in 2016, celebrating the success of alumni in every continent. Applications will be open from 24 August to 31 October 2015, and award ceremonies will take place between January and March 2016.

For more details please see our website: http://www.britishcouncil.org/education/ihe/opportunities/education-uk-alumni-awards-2016.