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With alumni award, British Council celebrates high-flying Nigerians

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Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission, Laural Beaufils (Middle) flanked by 14 finalists during the British Council Alumni Awards 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos 

In recognition of their outstanding exploits, exemplary leadership and achievements in chosen professions, some outstanding Nigerians were recently honoured at this year’s British Council’s Study UK Alumni Award Dinner. Held at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, the young, enterprising and innovative UK- trained Nigerians were celebrated with varying awards in recognition of the achievements.

The Study UK Alumni Awards, which was established last year, aims to recognise and celebrate the benefits that studying at a UK university has had upon the individual, their community and country.

According to the Country Director, British Council Nigeria, Connie Price, “We are celebrating Nigerians, who have come back to Nigeria following a very good education and have achieved so much they could go anywhere, but they’ve chosen to come here and contribute back to Nigeria. We celebrate with them and congratulate them not only on their impressive professional successes but in their capacity as ‘ambassadors’ for UK higher education.”

The award is divided into three categories: Professional Achievement Award, Entrepreneurial Award and Social Impact Award. While 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, the Entrepreneurial Award is for successful applicants, who are active in initiating, or contributing to, innovative new business opportunities with strong growth prospects. The Social Impact Award, on the other hand, acknowledges alumni, who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others.

At the award ceremony, which was spiced with musical performances by the likes of Bez, Olanrewaju Akinsola clinched the Professional Achievement Award, beating other nominees such as Mary Stephen, Tolu Ogunlesi, Olanrewaju Akinsola, Paul Oluikpo and Timipre Wolo.

The Social Impact category, which had Bolaji Abdullahi, Fatima Oyiza Ademoh, Mary Dinah and Mfon Ekpo, saw Fatima Oyiza of the University of Leeds emerge winner. On the entrepreneurial category, Anas Balarabe Yazid of Imperial College won the award, beating Nasir Abdulkadir, Ehime Eigbe, Adebambo Akani and Isoken Ogiemwonyi, who were also nominated.

Created by the British Council in partnership with UK higher education institutions, similar award ceremony was also held in Egypt, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey and the USA. Top alumni were selected from a global total of more than 1200 applicants, many of whom were nominated by their host UK universities.

In Nigeria, over 200 applications were received across the three award categories. Following a careful review by the panel of judges, 14 finalists were selected across the categories.

Bryony Inge, Alumni Campaign Manager at the British Council said, “It’s inspiring to hear how alumni are using their UK education experience to make a positive difference to their professions, communities and countries around the world.”



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