Malaysian UK alumni celebrated by British Council

 In News

The significant impact Malaysian UK alumni have made on their professions, societies, as well as home and host countries, was celebrated by the British Council during the Study UK Alumni Awards Malaysia 2024.

The awards recognised alumni across four broad categories – Science and Sustainability, Business and Innovation, Culture and Creativity and Social Action – and showcased the successes alumni have had in their respective fields.

The sixth edition of the awards was held as a gala dinner celebration in Kuala Lumpur on February 29 and was the final event of East Asia Education Week 2024.

“We are here to celebrate the achievements of a remarkable group of people who chose to expand their knowledge, to grow international connections and benefit from a world class education at one of the UK’s many institutions,” Jazreel Goh, director Malaysia and head of East Asia Insights Hub, British Council, told the audience.

“The Study UK Alumni Awards matters to the British Council because we take tremendous pride in knowing that we have supported and are able to recognise the ambitions and achievements of individuals across the world.

“It is a reminder of what we can achieve when we work collaboratively and bring our individual inspiration and creativity together. We can change people’s lives for a better and build a brighter future for everyone,” said Goh.

“These international connections, built over many years from people across the world have enriched the UK’s academic life and communities across the UK and beyond.”

During the event, The PIE caught up with winner of the Science and Sustainability Award, Abhi Veerakumarasivam, alumnus of the University of Cambridge and current provost of Sunway University, to discuss his experience of studying in the UK.

“Going to Cambridge was a huge opportunity to challenge my world view and learn to express myself, to discover my strengths and weaknesses and to try without the fear of failure and fear of living up to a certain expectation,” said Veerakumarasivam.

He said that a “certain brand of excellence” associated with a Cambridge degree has allowed him to be “at least at the doorstep of many opportunities”.

Meanwhile, being surrounded by great minds and privilege made Veerakumarasivam realise the importance of his social responsibility in creating equal access, inspiring him to drive solutions.

Today, at Sunway University, he leads the largest UK-Malaysia transnational education partnership – nurturing thousands of next-generation leaders with the skills and values needed to create a more equitable and sustainable future.

Wendy Teo Boon Ting, alumnus of University College London and University of Cambridge, was awarded the Culture and Creativity Award.

The pioneering architect and cultural advocate in Malaysia believes her UK education fostered critical analysis, scholarly rigour and a deep awareness of cultural complexities.

“We have so much to learn from UK alumni”

The Business and Innovation Award went to Vicky How Peck Ying, alumnus of the University of the West of England. Today, she is a property valuer and founder and CEO of Propedia Group, renowned for her dedication to uplifting Malaysia’s property market.

How’s entrepreneurial journey has been led by her commitment to social responsibility, and she now donates a portion of her earnings towards aiding the homeless and promoting rural education in Malaysia.

The Social Action Award was given to Murallitharan Munisamy, alumnus of the London School of Economics and Political Science and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and now managing director of the National Cancer Society of Malaysia.

Esteemed guests gathered at the event included Her Excellency Ailsa Terry, British high commissioner to Malaysia, who said it was “genuinely heartening” to see the impact of a UK education has had on alumni in the room.

“The UK is genuinely enriched by each and every one of you going to the UK, so thank you,” she addressed them.

“One of the key objectives of tonight’s event is to inspire future generations of Malaysian students to pursue their education in the UK. Through the stories and achievements of these leading lights, we’re able to showcase the transformative power of a UK education.”

According to Leighton Ernsberger, director education East Asia, British Council, alumni are the best advocates for what it’s like to study in the UK, prompting the organisation to build on the work it already does with alumni – giving them the chance to build up their profiles, network and share their experiences of UK education, all with the goal of increasing employability.

“For the British Council, we have so much to learn from UK alumni,” he told The PIE.

“Increasingly our focus has turned to how the British Council can support the ultimate goal the end of education, which is employability and supporting young people and with whatever they hope to achieve. 

“We’re in an increasingly interconnected world so I think the work we do with UK alumni does go towards our shared priority on employability and how we can work with our partners to boost the end goal.”

The post Malaysian UK alumni celebrated by British Council appeared first on The PIE News.

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