British Embassy and British Council in Riyadh celebrate outstanding achievements of Saudi alumni of UK universities
For almost a decade, the Study UK Alumni Awards have honored alumni of UK higher education institutions. Curated by the British Council and UK Universities to honor alumni who have used their UK education, knowledge, skills and experience to make positive contributions to their communities, professions, and countries. The awards are now in their ninth year in Saudi Arabia.
With more than 1,300 applications from international UK alumni in more than 114 countries, representing alumni from more than 120 UK higher education institutions, this highlights the incredible impact of a UK education. This year, the finalists and winners in Saudi Arabia were selected from an incredibly impressive pool of applicants and were celebrated at a prestigious award ceremony, hosted Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Neil Crompton.
Recognizing alumni who have distinguished themselves through their career and achievements in four categories: Science and Sustainability, Culture and Creativity, Social Action, and Business and Innovation, the awards are a platform for recognition of the incredibly talented graduates, who have excelled in their professions.
The Science and Sustainability Award recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to their profession and community in areas such as climate action, clean energy, medicine, sustainable cities and communities, engineering, industry and construction.
The Culture and Creativity Award celebrates alumni who have excelled in the arts and culture, demonstrating artistic ingenuity, influence, and creativity. The Social Action Award honors alumni who have made exceptional contributions and demonstrated commitment to creating positive social change, and improving the lives of others.
Finally, the Business and Innovation Award recognizes alumni who are active in initiating and contributing to entrepreneurship, innovating and creating new ideas, solutions, or business opportunities that have the potential for growth, and which deliver impact.
This year’s finalists and winners in Saudi Arabia are leaders in their respective fields, who have used their UK education to bring about positive change to their professions, communities and industries. They are entrepreneurs, scientists, professionals, and social change makers who have made a significant impact through their work. By showcasing their achievements, the Study UK Alumni Awards raise the profile of the alumni, their UK universities, and the advantages of a UK education.
Recognizing the brilliant achievements of UK Alumni and their contributions, we would like to congratulate and highlight the winners of the 2022 – 2023 awards
The Science and Sustainability Award
Dr. Hani AlHadrami's achievements in the field of molecular diagnostics and medical biotechnology are impressive, and his success can be attributed in part to his education in the UK. Studying in the UK exposed him to a diverse group of individuals, which allowed him to learn from different perspectives and to challenge his own ideas. Dr. AlHadrami's advice to students who are planning to study in the UK is to make the most of the opportunities available to them. He encourages them to engage with the local community and to seek out experiences that are outside of their comfort zone.
Winning the Science and Sustainability Award and being able to showcase his experience and achievements on a national stage was a great honor for Dr. AlHadrami, who encourages other alumni to join the network in order to connect with other graduates and to expand their professional networks. He also thinks that the network provides a platform for alumni to give back to their communities and to share their knowledge and expertise with others.
As well as the great advancements to his scientific career, Dr. AlHadrami commented on the confidence with which studying in the UK equipped him, noting that he has “gained excellent communication skills with both students and academics, the talent to present complex information in an accessible way to a range of audiences, which I gained in my departmental meetings and from giving talks on a diverse range of subjects at international conferences.”
As a leading scientist and researcher, Dr. AlHadrami is looking forward to continuing his research in molecular diagnostics and medical biotechnology. He hopes to use his expertise to further develop innovative solutions to pressing healthcare challenges and to make a positive impact on society.
The Business and Innovation Award
Dr. Abdullah Alotaibi, who won the Business and Innovation Award, shared his experience studying in the UK and how it has influenced his career. "During the time I was doing my PhD, my critical thinking skills improved, and I was looking at research issues as opportunities to come up with a creative and innovative solution. It was in the UK, that my journey with innovation started."
Winning this award was a testament to Dr. Alotaibi’s significant contributions to his field and innovative mind set and creative spirit. Whilst studying in the UK, he garnered the skills to improve his critical thinking, allowing his innovative ideas to thrive and come to life, in turn bringing his dreams to life.
When interviewed about the award, he also highlighted the importance of the relationship between the Saudi Cultural Bureau and UK universities, in providing support for Saudi students. Dr. Alotaibi's advice for those planning to study in the UK includes committing to regular meetings with supervisors, taking advantage of the UK education system, and being the best version of yourself. He expressed his gratitude for the recognition and the support provided by the UK alumni platform, which he believes presents numerous opportunities for UK alumni.
The Culture and Creativity Award
Dr. Muhammad Alzaidi's research on linguistics is fascinating, and he has been able to share his passion for the subject with people around the world through his YouTube channel, Linguistics Café. In a recent interview, he passionately described his experience studying in the UK as “transformative”, stating that it helped him to develop his critical thinking and research skills.
Through his YouTube channel, Dr. Alzaidi is helping young Saudis to develop their language skills and to learn about linguistics. He hopes that his work will inspire a new generation of linguists and language enthusiasts. When being interviewed about the awards, Dr. Alzaidi said that he would recommend the experience of studying abroad to future academics, noting that “Studying in the UK helps students not only to acquire an in-depth knowledge of science, but also helps the students to learn how to conduct valuable and high-quality research. This is due to the fact that we learnt important research skills that will be useful throughout our entire careers.”
Winning the Culture and Creativity Award was a great honor for Dr. Alzaidi and he encourages students planning to study in the UK to take advantage of the many opportunities available to them, both academically and culturally.
Dr. Alzaidi offered advice to future students looking to apply to the prestigious awards: “Try to spell out, and really focus on what your achievements are, how you have achieved this, what these mean for your field and how these achievements help the community in general. The reward is truly an honor and I would encourage all those passionate about their work to consider applying.”
The Social Action Award
Dr. Reham Fakieh's work in economics and politics is impressive, and she has been able to make a significant impact in these fields through her research and advocacy. Dr. Fakieh described her experience studying in the UK as transformative, stating that it helped her to develop her research skills and to gain confidence. In a recent interview, she highlighted how her time studying in the UK allowed her to connect with different people and cultures from around the world: “I liked the diversity of the students in my classes; my UK study has broadened my chance to meet and engage with people from different countries and backgrounds, which enriched my knowledge about different cultures and societies.”
Dr. Fakieh urges students planning to study in the UK is to be open-minded and to embrace new experiences. She encouraged students to take advantage of the many opportunities available to them, both academically and socially.
Communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing
The Study UK Alumni Awards celebrate the diverse range of talent and highlights the importance of UK education in addressing global challenges. Taking part in the awards is an opportunity for alumni to showcase their accomplishments and connect with a global community of UK alumni. The British Council aims to strengthen the UK alumni network and facilitate communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.
The Study UK Alumni Awards are a powerful platform for showcasing the achievements of Saudi UK alumni and building awareness around the value and impact of a UK higher education. The awards allow for the talented and skilled students to be celebrated, marking the achievements of alumni who have made significant contributions to their professions and communities.
The awards raise the profile of the finalists and winners, their UK universities, and UK higher education, while also building a strong global community of UK alumni. As the Study UK Alumni Awards continue to grow in popularity and recognition, they will undoubtedly continue to play a vital role in promoting UK higher education and celebrating the achievements of its alumni.
The Saudi UK alumni network aims to provide members a forum for networking and sharing a love of UK tradition, expertise and culture. If you have studied in the UK and would like to join, complete the registration form here: https://alumniuk.britishcouncil.org/
For more information or to learn more about the success of the former winners, please visit https://saudiarabia.britishcouncil.org/