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The British Council Lauds Indian Alumni at the Education UK Alumni Awards 2016!

Education UK Alumni Awards 2016 were presented at an alumni gala to celebrate UK university Indian alumni for Professional, Entrepreneurial and Social Impact

Published by Shubhangi Pandey on 22-03-2016

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The British Council and UK universities created the Education UK Alumni Awards


To build global networks for UK alumni with access to influential change-makers


The Education UK Alumni Awards are being held in 10 countries


The British Council honoured the achievements of Indian alumni who studied at a UK university within the last ten years and who could articulate the impact of their UK education on their professional success on Saturday, 19 March.  Awards were given out in three categories: Professional Achievement Award, Entrepreneurial Award and the Social Impact Award.


The Education UK Alumni Awards 2016 were presented at an alumni gala to celebrate UK university alumni. The gala was attended by distinguished guests Lord Jeffrey Mountevans, Lord Mayor of London, and Baroness Amos, Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies.


The British Council and UK universities created the Education UK Alumni Awards to build global networks for UK alumni with access to influential change-makers and to support university alumni relations around the world.


In 2016, the Education UK Alumni Awards are being held in 10 countries Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States.  Over 830 applications were shortlisted for 30 awards, out of which 220 applications were from India. Indian entries were the highest amongst the 10 countries taking part in this global initiative. The UK Universities selected the first round of nominees for the Education UK Alumni Awards 2016. For the Indian edition of the awards, a panel of judges comprising the executives from the British Council and the British High Commission and past recipients of Education UK Alumni Awards shortlisted the finalists.



Education UK Alumni Award Recipients by Category:


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.


Nishad Chaughule from Leeds Beckett University, recipient of the Professional Achievement Award said, “I am delighted to be recognised by the British Council for my work. My education in the UK has given me the global experience that is unparalleled in today’s professional environment. My message to the youngsters would be that if you have a proper guidance and the sheer will to work hard, nothing can stop you from succeeding in your career. I am proud to be a UK Alumni and hope to continue making significant contributions to my field. Additionally, the UK education gave me an opportunity to be in a cosmopolitan environment, which enabled me to become a better storyteller but most importantly a better an open-minded individual.”


Nishad is a filmmaker based out of UK and India. He is a Student Academy Award and a Royal Television Society Award winner. He was also shortlisted for a Grierson Trust British Documentary Award for his short documentary ‘Make me Louder’.  Nishad is a founder at ‘Man on Mars’ a film production and distribution company based in Leeds, UK and also associated with the independent production company Sikhya Entertainment, Mumbai, India. Nishad enjoys working in both fiction and non-fiction storytelling.


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.


Ankit Mehrotra from University of Essex, who was awarded the Entrepreneurial Award at the event said, “This award is a testimony to the encouragement and guidance that students like me have received while studying in the UK.  It helped me not only to widen my horizons but also provided me the global exposure to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams. I am truly grateful for this honour and hope to continue contributing to the entrepreneurial landscape of the country.


Ankit is a start-up and tech enthusiast with special interests in understanding customer behaviour across the web and mobile. He co-founded in early 2012 and has positioned it as the premier table reservation service in India. Since then dine-out has grown multi-fold and in April 2014 it was successfully acquired by Times Internet.??He was awarded the Young Entrepreneur of the year 2012 at the 6th Indira International Innovation Summit in 2013. He also made it to the Top 2 on "The Pitch" season 3 on Bloomberg TV.


Before starting dine-out, he lived in London for 10 years and worked for 7 years with BNP Paribas in London in various divisions including Investment Banking & Wealth Management managing a portfolio of UHNWI. He also obtained his CFA charter in 2011.


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.


Ria Sharma from Leeds College of Art received the Social Impact Award at the event. Speaking about the honour, he/she said, “To be able to make a worthwhile contribution to the field of social services, students need to be nurtured as global citizens so that they are sensitive to the needs of a multi-cultural society. My experience of studying in the UK has helped me imbibe the vision and strategic forethought required to drive a social enterprise and I am truly grateful for this recognition.”  


Ria is the founder of Make Love Not Scars, an organization that has helped over 60 survivors of acid attacks medically, legally and financially. Ria’s work has created global awareness on the cause that is normally stigmatized, leading to the implementation of various existing laws. Ria procured funding for the first of its kind rehabilitation centre due to launch on the 8th of March. Ria’s time at Leeds College Of Art allowed her to combine her passion for women’s rights with her degree which led to her founding her organization in third year.



The British Council will support the award recipients with professional development opportunities that will build their professional capacities, skills and networks. The award recipients will also become a part of a new international UK Alumni Award Network, and awardees will be invited to the UK to connect with government and industry leaders in a sector of their choice. Other celebrated alumni of the UK include designer Jimmy Choo, actress Parineeti Chopra, former US President Bill Clinton, co-founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman, Olympic gold medallist Annette Salmeen, Nobel Prize for Literature winner Wole Soyinka, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and business magnate Zhang Xin.


2016 has been jointly announced by British Prime Minister Cameron and Indian Prime Minister Modi as the UK-India Year of Education, Research and Innovation. Education UK Alumni Awards firmly reiterates our commitment to this year of enhanced collaboration between the two countries. To further empower students to pursue their ambitions of studying in the UK, a number of scholarships are offered to international students by the UK Government. As part of this, we are offering GREAT Scholarships worth over 150 million rupees, with 291 scholarships on offer in partnership with 45 universities. Further, the India programme of Chevening, British Government’s flagship global scholarship, is now world’s largest with budget of £2.6 million and 130 scholarships on offer. In addition, we have Charles Wallace programme with a budget of £0.15 million and Commonwealth Scholarship programme, which supports on an average 60 Indian students each year.


More information on the Education UK Alumni 2015 awards is here:


Full details on all the finalists:


List of UK Higher Education Institutions with 2016 finalists for India


University of Oxford

University of Cambridge

Leeds Beckett University

Cardiff University

University of Leeds 

University of Essex

University of St. Andrews

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Leeds College of Art


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