The Professional Achievement Award recognises alumni whose work has created change in their chosen profession.

Regional award winners 2018

Asha de Vos photographing blue whales in the North Indian Ocean

Dr Asha de Vos

University of St Andrews, University of Oxford

Asha is a Sri Lankan marine biologist, ocean educator and pioneer of blue whale research in the Northern Indian Ocean. As Principal Investigator, she brought together a team of international researchers to address ship strike of blue whales in Sri Lankan waters, resulting in a peer-reviewed publication and a report which she will present to the Sri Lankan Prime Minister. Her UK education helped her to think holistically about biological questions and to cultivate her passion in a structured way.

Gosia Pearson at EU offices in Brussels

Dr Gosia Pearson

University of Oxford

Gosia received a Chevening Scholarship to complete her Doctoral Studies in International Relations with a year at the University of Oxford, and went on to author the EU’s policy position for the World Humanitarian Summit, aimed at improving the EU’s response to humanitarian crises. Studying in the UK was truly inspirational for Gosia: she found lectures stimulating, and seminars challenging in critical thinking. She remains a Research Associate at the University of Oxford.


Isabella Cota reporting on location

Isabella Cota

City, University of London

As a Bloomberg News correspondent and fixed income reporter, Isabella has influenced the way foreign exchange is reported in Mexico and highlighted issues with the banking sector.

Studying business and financial journalism at City, University of London changed her life. She learned how to approach the global financial system, as well as critical skills for accurate business reporting, and landed her first job at Thomson Reuters as a consequence of her studies in London.


Marat Raimkhanov

Marat Raimkhanov

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Marat is an independent marketing communications expert. His international knowledge and 15 years of experience in marketing, corporate communications and public relations help organizations build their brand reputation and find real solutions to business challenges. Marat observes that LSE provided him with the skills and qualities necessary to succeed professionally: critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership and teamwork as well as constant self-development and self-improvement.  

Maryam Alsubaiey with teaching materials for young people

Maryam Alsubaiey

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of Essex

Following her course in MSc in Development Studies, Maryam was the only woman on the management team for new channel QTV, as well as the youngest. In the 2014 Enterprise Qatar competition, Maryam won first place in the professional category with her start-up Q Talent, an agency providing opportunities in the creative industries to young people locally. Maryam’s exposure to creative industries in the UK was pivotal in her decision to enter the television industry in Qatar.

Professor Menon talking to children at a community school programme

Professor J. Anitha Menon

University of Nottingham

Following her Doctoral Studies in Health Psychology at the University of Nottingham, Professor Menon became an Associate Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Zambia: the first female Professor of Psychology in Zambia.

As a mother of two with a full-time job, she never believed that she would be able to obtain a PhD from an internationally recognised institution. However, the flexibility of the UK education system allowed her to work at her own pace with constant academic support.

Ji Jiafu

Professor Ji Jiafu

Cardiff University

As President of the Peking University Cancer Hospital, Professor Ji Jiafu is internationally recognised for his expertise in the surgical treatment of gastric cancer. He plays a leading role in efforts to promote the standardisation of surgical procedures and the development of chemotherapy for gastric cancer in China. His training programmes have benefited thousands of surgeons in China. The UK education system influenced his teaching practices, inspiring him to encourage his students.