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.