Alumni Awards finalists and winners from Nigeria holding certificates

Alumni Awards winners and finalists 2023

Meet our 2023 winners and finalists

Read about our global finalists for 2023 below. The four global winners from each category will be selected for their outstanding achievements as professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders in September 2023.

The four winners are selected by the global judging panel in the final stage of an extensive judging process of the 28 global finalists. All winners and finalists are UK university alumni with outstanding success stories, representing 29 UK universities and 22 countries.

Read about their inspirational stories below and how they are using their experience of studying at a UK university to make an impact on their communities, industries, and countries.

In addition to the global awards, a small number of selected countries hosted prestigious awarding ceremonies to celebrate alumni at a national level below. 

Global Finalists 2023

Business and Innovation Award

Recognising alumni who are initiating and contributing to creative new ideas, solutions or business opportunities that have the potential for growth.

  • University of Cambridge

    Irina set out to become a change agent from within her current company. She negotiated and introduced 23 new (re)insurance companies to the Armenian market and to her company and contributed to the evolution of insurance regulating relationships with foreign partners. To attract and retain talent she developed a curriculum for an intracompany continuous development school and decreased staff turnover by 15 per cent. Irina has also developed a curriculum for an insurance class currently taught at the Moscow State University in Russia.

    Wider Europe: Irina Arutyunova (Armenia)
  • University of Cambridge, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

    Yijing is the founder of 2060 Advisory, China's first impact investing advisory firm aiming to help entrepreneurs who are tackling positive, measurable social and environmental problems to scale up their business solutions. Yijing is China’s first Forbes 30 under 30 in impact investing, World Economic Forum Global Shaper and the first Chinese recipient of the “Impact Investing World Forum” scholarship and worked on deals at Saas company, Carbonstop and virtual power plant tech company, Zhaowayun.

    East Asia: Yijing Wang (China) (Winner)
  • University of Cambridge

    Victoria is an award-winning woman in technology committed to building connections with women in tech from their time in school through their professional careers. She is championing a holistic response to an industry-wide challenge in tech – diversity – by conducting empowerment workshops and organising community-led meet-ups. She has also launched new initiatives pairing high-potential women in tech with vice presidents (VPs) and built groups to run mentorship programmes and speaker series to create visibility and inspire female role models.

    Europe: Victoria Riess (Germany)
  • Cranfield University

    Fadi overhauled Lebanon’s public passport system after it shut down following the collapse of the government in 2021. It is Lebanon's first fully digital service and the first platform to be fully encrypted, secure and leak free. Over 10 million people used the platform and it had a huge impact on the local community, changing the status quo of the relationship between the government and the entire country. The platform incorporated strict rules to avoid corruption, bribing and nepotism within Lebanon.

    Middle East and North Africa: Fadi Bou Debs (Lebanon)
  • University of Edinburgh, University of Nottingham; Chevening scholar

    Oumadevi founded Keto Angels to develop a range of low carbohydrates food products that can be used in a diabetes management/reversal programme to combat the prevalence of diabetes in Mauritius. Locally, diabetes is managed mainly pharmacologically. Oumadevi launched the first diabetes-friendly bakery of Mauritius which stocks a variety of low carb products.

    Sub-Saharan Africa: Oumadevi Rangasamy Veerasamy (Mauritius)
  • Leeds Beckett University

    Dr Bhattarai influenced the national public policy landscape in Nepal substantially. In 2022, the government of Nepal invited him as an expert to work with senior political and administrative leaders (ministers and secretaries) for planning and designing the country's industrial development plan on entrepreneurship, innovation, productivity and international trade. Dr Bhattarai was appointed as a national advisor by the federation of cottage and small industries and as an advisor for National federation of agricultural cooperatives.

    South Asia: Dr. Lok Bhattarai (Nepal)
  • Durham University

    Iynna is an investor at Moxxie Ventures and Partner at the MBA Fund, investing in Enterprise Software deals. Prior to Moxxie, Iynna built and ran the global division for ERA, New York City's first early-stage tech accelerator and seed venture capital (VC) fund, to support international startups' entry to the US market. She was a founding member and COO of Enza Academy, an edtech startup providing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to underrepresented minority students to bridge the racial and socioeconomic gap in tech.

    Americas: Iynna Halilou (USA)

Culture and Creativity Award

Recognising alumni who have carved a career for themselves in arts and culture. These individuals have demonstrated their artistic ingenuity, influence and creativity.

  • Royal Academy of Music, University of London

    Dimitrios established the Athens Conservatoire College of Music to deliver a Bachelor of Music programme in collaboration with Goldsmiths, University of London. This new undergraduate degree in Music Studies is now offered in Greece and enables successful graduates to receive an internationally-recognised UK degree award following a four-year programme of study at the premises of the Athens Conservatoire.

    Europe: Dimitrios Marinos (Greece)
  • University of Westminster

    Puja is an award-winning journalist and author of three books. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and non-fiction, she is drawn to stories that spotlight lives on the 'bladed fringes' of Indian society — from the sewer divers of Mumbai to the water-starved villages of Odisha to those riding the 'Internet Express' trains in Kashmir. Published by some of the most reputed publications around the world, Puja has won over a dozen national and international awards for her work.

    South Asia: Puja Changoiwala (India)
  • University of Kent, Kingston University

    Hind is the founder of Artmejo, an online platform documenting local creatives and promoting the art scene in Jordan and the region. Her work focuses on providing Art Consultation and Curation services to businesses, galleries and individuals. She aims - through her platform - to educate, inform and create a dialogue about the contemporary and modern Arab art world and its history. Connecting people with their own culture and the wider world is central to her work.

    Middle East and North Africa: Hind Joucka (Jordan)
  • Aston University

    Isah is a performing artist and co-founder of Creative Culture, an 'edutainment' start-up based in Abuja, Nigeria, that produces engaging experiences and media content for Africa’s post-millennial generation. He has been instrumental in growing Abuja’s creative industry by building communities, hosting events, and creating paid opportunities for young creatives. He is now using his skills and expertise to contribute to the sustainable development of Africa’s creative economy and establishing strategic connections between Africa and the rest of the world.

    Sub-Saharan Africa: Isah 'The Prince' Matankari (Nigeria)
  • Royal College of Art

    Yunwoo designed the main exterior of Chevrolet Cruze at General Motors and has participated in several future car design projects and is the first Asian Bentley designer. He was scouted by Hyundai as their Genesis exterior design workgroup leader. He has run many innovative design industry projects with global firms such as LG, Hyundai, Kia, Renault, FCA, Mando and Yangpeng. He is also in charge of design for Hyperloop national research and development project.

    East Asia: Yunwoo Jeong (South Korea)
  • University of East Anglia

    Rachel Koller Croft is a novelist and screenwriter based in Los Angeles, USA. Her debut novel, Stone Cold Fox, was published by Penguin Random House on February 14, 2023. She is also the Writers Guide of America (WGA) Award nominated screenwriter of the Blumhouse film, Torn Hearts, in which she also penned the lyrics to the original songs featured. Additionally, she has scripted film and television projects for companies including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Freeform and Comedy Central, among others.

    Americas: Rachel Koller Croft (USA)
  • The University of Edinburgh

    Iskander is an accomplished English teacher and supervised the creation of a mobile application, Speakeng, helping people learn English in a fun and easy way. The application has been downloaded more than 100,000 times. A local TV channel, Taraqqiyot, broadcasts an educational programme called Live English, where Iskander teaches English. He has mentored more than 3,000 students, authored and co-authored six books and sold more than 10,000 copies of his work.

    Wider Europe: Iskandar Sattibaev (Uzbekistan) (Winner)

Science and Sustainability Award

Recognising alumni who have distinguished themselves through their career and achievements in the world of science and sustainability.

  • Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine; Chevening scholar

    Haitham’s work at the World Health Organisation, focused on developing resource mobilisation strategies to support countries affected by war such as Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. The strategies included deploying effective emergency surgical care for those in serious and/or urgent need. While at Harvard, he led projects in Pakistan, Rwanda and the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) to develop national surgical plans with local organisations and the Ministries of Health. These plans are included in countries' national healthcare strategic visions to strengthen surgical care and reduce disability and mortality from preventable diseases.

    Middle East and North Africa: Haitham Shoman (Egypt)
  • University of Essex, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Shynar successfully led the establishment and launch of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) Green Finance Centre, a regional think tank in sustainable finance, as well as fostered the development of the green capital market in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. She and her team helped local green projects and sustainable businesses attract foreign investments. As a result, in 2022 Astana was ranked first in the tenth edition of the Global Green Finance Index among Eastern European and Central Asian countries.

    Wider Europe: Shynar Aldazhumanova (Kazakhstan)
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Chevening scholar

    Muktar led on the development of Nigeria’s National Family Planning Blueprint which has contributed to national uptake of contraception and has led to a projected reduction of over 67,000 maternal and child mortalities. Muktar is now working on further expanding his contribution to the regional and global network arena by supporting bilateral and multilateral organisations to synergize efforts and peer support in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, especially as they relate to reproductive health.

    Sub-Saharan Africa: Prof. Muktar A. Gadanya (Nigeria)
  • Cranfield University

    Sarah is a trailblazer and inspiration for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Aerospace. She is the co-founder and CEO of Aero Engine Craft Private Limited, a research and development company devising first generation eco-friendly, contrail-free aero-engines for the global aviation industry, bringing about a revolution in air travel. She stands among very few women engine inventors in recorded history, evaluates green solutions for the world and volunteers to teach aviation lessons to children.

    South Asia: Dr. Sarah Qureshi (Pakistan)
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, University of Leeds, University of Leicester

    Melvin’s cost-effectiveness study on the 2-dose human papillomavirus vaccination schedule was instrumental in Southeast Asia adopting a school-based vaccination programme, protecting more girls from cervical cancer, the fourth most frequent cancer among women in Asia. He launched the Collaboration for Tuberculosis (TB) Vaccine Discovery, a global network dedicated to developing new vaccines for TB. His publication on live TB vaccines helped shape the development pathway for whole cell TB vaccines. He ensured expansion of the use of the quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIV) for children 6 months of age and older, protecting thousands of children from influenza each year. He was also one of the top 100 scientific influencers globally on Covid-19.

    East Asia: Melvin Sanicas (Philippines)
  • University of Aberdeen, University of Liverpool

    Professor Alhadrami has over ten years of academic and community services, with the accomplishment of four USA patents, over 80 publications in high-impact peer-reviewed journals and the establishment of several academic degrees. He is a principal investigator (PI) at the Centre of Genomic Medicine Research and the Special Infectious Agent Unit Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3), the Centre of Genomic Medicine and the Molecular Diagnostic Lab at King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is the founder of the Saudi Society of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. His research on Covid-19 has had a remarkable impact worldwide in terms of detection and treatment.

    Middle East and North Africa: Hani Alhadrami (Saudi Arabia)
  • University of Cambridge, University of Kent, Oxford Brookes University

    Trang is a wildlife conservation scientist and environmental activist working in both Asia and Africa to tackle the illegal wildlife trade and consumption. Understanding the importance of education in conservation, Trang established the first-ever diploma course in conservation in Vietnam. In Africa Trang worked undercover and supported the local authorities in South Africa, Mozambique, Cameroon and Ivory Coast to arrest wildlife traders. Fourteen major traders have been arrested and over three tonnes of wildlife parts seized as a result of this work.

    East Asia: Dr. Trang Nguyen (Vietnam) (Winner)

Social Action Award

Recognising alumni who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others.

  • University of Leeds

    Cainã is responsible for creating professional development opportunities for over 20,000 English language teachers working at public schools as part of the UK-Brazil Skills for Prosperity Programme. So far, 9.7 million copies of English textbooks have been delivered to teachers and students through the programme across Brazil. This will improve students' employability and potential earnings, helping to reduce poverty which is especially important as prominent studies indicate that countries proficient in English as a second language have better economies.

    Americas: Cainã Perri (Brazil)
  • University of Oxford

    Paul launched Know+, an educational version of Netflix, accentuating life-long learning centred on the most pressing issues of our world. Know+ has transformed serious learning into cinematically engaging and financially inclusive film-quality videos. Know+ secured investment and valuation to provide free access to 1 million youths, helping schools globally to offer equitable, inclusive, and quality education on critical issues. Paul was awarded Forbes 30 under 30 in China for his contributions to social action and education.

    East Asia: Paul Lin (China)
  • University of Huddersfield, University of Manchester

    Derar, an education entrepreneur, enthusiastic researcher and speaker in patient safety and infectious diseases, has been a leading COVID-19 pandemic champion in the Middle East for the last four years. Derar’s work - in collaboration with the UN, USAID, WHO, and Ministries of Health - has been instrumental in combating COVID-19 pandemic misinformation (through many TV channels), saving thousands of patient lives, teaching hundreds of students and practitioners, and conducting top-notch public health research.

    Middle East and North Africa: Dr. Derar Hasan Abdel-Qader (Jordan)
  • University of Essex; Chevening scholar

    Evghenii specialises in the right to health and equality, especially for vulnerable groups. He is working with the Moldovan NGO Positive Initiative, Moldova’s patent office, finance and health authorities on the patents law reform to introduce TRIPS flexibilities and on the procurement mechanisms to support access to Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Tuberculosis (TB), Hepatitis C and Covid-19 medicines, vaccines and medical products.

    Europe: Evghenii Alexandrovici Goloșceapov (Moldova)
  • Swansea University (Prifysgol Abertawe)

    Oluwaseun combats sexual and gender-based violence against Nigerian women and girls and provides them with holistic support services. Through Stand To End Rape Initiative (STER), she leads policy reforms, deploys effective programmes to challenge systemic barriers that promote violence and has empowered 200,000 citizens to fight against inequalities and violence in their daily lives. Oluwaseun will continue to facilitate capacity-building initiatives for national institutions on policy implementation, implement evidence-based programmes and scale STER’s reach.

    Sub-Saharan Africa: Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi (Nigeria) (Winner)
  • City University of London, University of London

    Hamna established her own law firm providing pro bono services. She is the first Pakistani woman to conduct legal aid camps in Badin, Tharparkar and has established a YouTube channel where she provides free legal education to the general public regarding their fundamental rights. She is also the first Pakistani woman to run a virtual law firm allowing flexibility and employment opportunities to mothers unable to leave their homes for work.

    South Asia: Barrister Hamna Zain (Pakistan)
  • University of Birmingham

    Burak co-founded KomsuBostan to transform the lives of local producers in Turkey by providing Turkey's first commission-free marketplace. With its environmentally-friendly, socially responsible, and producer-oriented innovative business idea, KomsuBostan strengthened its presence in the Turkish start-up ecosystem. To increase the awareness of the sustainability approaches for both local producers and end-consumers, Burak organises webinars with an audience of upwards of 1,000 people with the participation of prominent figures.

    Wider Europe: Burak Yazar (Turkey)

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