The three winners of the Education UK Alumni Awards 2016 in Pakistan were announced at a ceremony organised by the British Council Pakistan.
Jahanzeb Awan won the Professional Achievement Award, Fiza Farhan won the Social Impact Award and Bilal Majeed won the Entrepreneurship Award at a ceremony held at the British Deputy High Commission, Karachi.
The awards were presented by Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, CEO Netsol Saleem Ghouri and Pakistan Cricket Team Selector Dr Urooj Mumtaz.
The awards aim to demonstrate the impact that a UK education can have upon individuals and countries around the world, as well as to inspire others to reach their potential by studying in the UK. The awards will be held in 10 countries -- Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the USA.
At the awards ceremony in Karachi, all three winners of the Education UK Alumni Awards Pakistan said their UK education was transformational, expanding their vision and equipping them with the skills that are crucial to their successful careers.
Fiza Farhan, winner of the Social Impact Award, says that her time at Warwick Business School allowed her to “fully realise my passion not to settle for any job but instead create new realities that serve a purpose and create holistic impact for all stakeholders…the challenging multicultural environment honed my confidence and developed persistence and courage that makes me the young woman leader I am today”.
Fiza did an MSc in Management at the University of Warwick. As CEO of the Buksh Foundation, Director Buksh Energy Pvt. Ltd, and Pakistan’s representative on a high-level UN panel, Fiza strives to provide sustainable solutions to national and international challenges.
Featuring in Forbes’ ‘Thirty under Thirty’ social entrepreneurs list in 2015, Fiza has pioneered the development of solar energy. Buksh Foundation has brought renewable energy to 160 off-grid villages, empowering women in each village as rural energy entrepreneurs, and impacting thousands across rural Pakistan.
The Professional Achievement Award, recognising alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional industry, was presented to Jahanzeb Awan who studied Law at the University of Sheffield.
After being called to the bar by the Society of Lincoln's Inn, Jahanzeb became a partner at one of Pakistan’s leading law firms. He provides litigation and advisory services to high-profile clients, including the State Bank of Pakistan, and has achieved major litigation success in a short period of time. Jahanzeb says: “The impact of the four years that I spent in the UK as a student has been enormous and it was undoubtedly the most defining period of my life.”
The Entrepreneurial Award recipient was presented to Bilal Majeed, who completed his Mechanical Engineering Design at the University of Manchester. Bilal is founder and product architect of BMKDesign, a company that is supporting start-up entrepreneurs, and helping them to unlock their creative potential.
From building the company up from scratch, Bilal now manages industrial design projects in the US and the UK and is looking to develop into the European market. He said: “studying in the UK provided me with the technical acumen and the confidence to work with clients from across the globe,delivering solutions that impact small and emerging businesses.”
Hammad Amjad, higher education consultant at the British Council, said that British education was the number one priority for students pursuing their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Acknowledging the support of the British Alumni Association of Pakistan (BAAP), Hammad added that “the association aims to build a nationwide society and provide networking opportunities for all alumni in Pakistan”.
The Education UK Alumni Awards 2016 in Pakistan received 98 applications out of which 11 finalists were selected through a competitive process. Pakistan is also among the top 10 countries with the highest number of UK graduates.
Every year about 7,000 Pakistanis select the UK as their destination to complete their undergraduate and postgraduate studies. The UK remains the preferred overseas higher education destination for Pakistanis, who then take up leadership roles in various industries throughout the world.
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