Celebrating the achievements of alumni in Kuwait

When outstanding individuals receive a world-class education in the UK, the effects can last a lifetime. The Alumni Awards shine a light on the impact that alumni of UK higher education institutions are making in their chosen field, and how this was sparked by their studies in the UK.

Celebrated for the first time on a national scale, British Council Kuwait recognised the accomplishments of alumni at its Study UK Alumni Awards ceremony on 5th March at the JW Marriot Hotel. The awards were open to any UK University graduates based in Kuwait. Award winners and finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries.

There were three award categories: Professional Achievement, Entrepreneurial and Social Impact.

  • Professional Achievement Award recognising UK alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional industry, and who can demonstrate the impact and scale of their achievements in their profession, and beyond.
  • Entrepreneurial Award recognising UK alumni who are active in initiating or contributing to innovative or creative new ideas, solutions or business opportunities that have the potential for strong growth.
  • Social Impact Award recognising UK alumni who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others.

TIMELINE

4 September 2018 Applications open                        
28 October 2018 Deadline for all nominations 
11 November 2018  Deadline for all applications 
November & December 2018 Shortlisting of applications
5 March 2019

National level winners announced at ceremonies

4 April 2019 Global Alumni Awards winners announced                                                         

MEET THIS YEAR'S JUDGES

The shortlisting of applications went through internal and external judging process.

The internal judging panel consisted of:

  • Mrs. Heba Elzein, Head of Programmes and Partnerships, British Council Kuwait
  • Mr. Matt Nottingham, Second Political Secretary, British Embassy Kuwait

The external judging panel consisted of:

  • Her Majesty's Ambassador to Kuwait, Michael Davenport
  • Mr. Michael Gordon, Country Director, British Council Kuwait
  • Dr. Fotouh Al Ragoum, programme manager and research scientist on energy efficiency technologies, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research.
  • Eng. Zainab S Garashi, founder and chair of Engineers without Borders (EWB) 

MEET THIS YEAR'S FINALISTS

Among stiff competition from a variety of strong applicants, these candidates stood out. Find out what makes their story unique.

ENTREPRENURIAL CATEGORY

AWARD RECIPIENT: Sheikha Fouz Fahad Al-Sabah, King’s College London

Fouz Fahad Al-Sabah is the founder and managing director of Khaleejesque Media and Crowd Creative House.Through these entrepreneurial ventures,Fouz has developed dynamic content-driven platforms that engage creative professionals and promote the creativity and culture of the Arab Gulf region.

Fouz believes studying in King’s College London was an experience that equipped her with valuable practical skills and theoretical insights to better understand challenges and opportunities in the creative and cultural industries.

With a decade of experience,shes now using her research,networks, and skills to raise awareness about the creative economy in Kuwait and to help develop it on a national level.        

Dr. Rania Azmi, University of Portsmouth

Dr Rania Azmi is a global decision-making expert whose work focuses on advising governments, institutional and family investors, while supporting philanthropic causes especially in the fight on cancer and women’s empowerment

Rania was chosen by Asset International Magazine as one of the brightest ‘forty under forty’ investment stars among the world’s top chief investment officers and was designated a  ‘Woman of Influence’ by the Women Speakers Association.

Her education at the University of Portsmouth bridged the gap between academia and practical work,from leading her own firm (Alexandrite Decisions) to founding Fadia Survive and Thrive Cancer Association for cancer patients support.

Dr Abdullah Essa Khalaf, University of Southampton; Kingston University

Dr Khalaf is assistant professor for the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) and is also the founder of a private music centre. His music centre provides researchers with a professional musicology library where they can conduct academic research. He also organises cultural events to spread awareness regarding music learning.

Abdullah believes that studying in the UK gave him the opportunity not only to learn from the best teachers but also to experience a multi-cultural life style. It gave him the chance to visit important music schools and venues, as well as meeting top pianists.

PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORY

AWARD RECIPIENT: Mr Nizamuddin Arshad, The London School of Economics and Political Science

Nizamuddin Arshad is the Adviser to the Governor on Banking Affairs at the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) and has assisted H.E. the Governor on a range of critical issues.He is also the principal author of CBK’s annual Financial Stability Reports.

Nizam believes that the rigour of his programme at LSE,taught by renowned academics,and enriched by the lively discussions among a diverse group of bright classmates,truly honed his excel skills

Nizam has shaped the public discourse,through his research and policy advice,on areas ranging from banking stability to fintech and regulatory reforms to Islamic finance,within Kuwait and across the MENA region. 

Dr Yousef Alosairi, Cardiff University (Prifysgol Caerdydd)

Dr Yousef Alosairi is the lead numerical modeller expert for hydro-environmental processes in the Arabian Gulf. Yousef’s research work has a specific focus on understanding the hydrodynamic processes of the Arabian Gulf, including Kuwait Bay.His research led to several publications in scientific journals which key findings about the coastal waters. More recently, Yousef has been working on improving understanding of the formation of poor water conditions.

Yousef says that Cardiff University provided him with qualities and unique research skills vital for understanding environmental phenomenon including algal bloom, unexpected fish mortality,oil spills and transport,which is crucial for the sustainability of coastal water.

Dr Bader Shafaqa Al-Anzi, Loughborough University

Bader Al-Anzi’s work is instrumental in promoting and applying innovative research in Kuwait through international collaboration with renowned institutes to offer solutions to environmental challenges.

Bader had the opportunity to improve his academic and research skills when studing at Loughborough University by exploring innovative technology, including ‘CPLJR’. Among his current patents, 12 are in the field of aeration and based on his PhD study in the UK. 

Bader is now Environmental Technologies and Management (ETM) chairman,Researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) supervisor of international and local graduate students, judge, speaker and chair for several international awards committees and conferences.

SOCIAL IMPACT CATEGORY

AWARD RECIPIENT: Dr Shahd Alshammari, University of Kent; University of Exeter

Dr Shahd teaches literature at the Gulf University for Science and Technology.Her works includes the Emirates Literature Festival and the Malta Book Festival. Her latest presentation was Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar on Medical Humanities in the Middle East and Arab women.

University of Kent’s provided her with qualities and skills to explore unchartered territory in disability studies in the Gulf region and the literature that represents women’s diverse experiences.

She publishes creatively to include the Kuwaiti woman’s voice in the literary canon of Arab women’s writing. Teaching for her includes all of her interactions with others, both on paper and personally.

Mr Abdullah Al-Khulifah, The University of Edinburgh; University of Winchester

Abdullah is the face of Fawzia Sultan Healthcare Network’s psychology department in raising awareness about mental health in universities, schools,community-based organisations. He engages in workshops and collaborates with organisations about various mental health issues and cultural psychology.

Studying at the University of Edinburgh helped Abdullah to get the opportunity to make friends worldwide due to the diversity of international students that the university proudly hosted. He was provided with the quality of thinking about how mental health can greatly impact an individual’s day-to-day life. Such knowledge and understanding complements Abdullah’s goal in creating awareness of mental health issues in Kuwait.

Dr Sultan Al-Salem, University College London

Dr Sultan Al-Salem earned his PhD from University College London  in chemical engineering and has applied his UK education in developing new research and  scientific techniques.Then, he has joined the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR).He is now Manager of the Environmental Pollution and Climate Program at the institute.

Dr Al-Salem is an authority in plastics engineering and waste management research.He has developed novel solutions and techniques for fuel recovery from solid waste.

Dr. Al-Salem heads the unique waste management research unit (WMRU).He is also conducting three cutting edge research projects in the waste management and fuel recovery from plastics.

ALUMNI AWARDS CEREMONY

British Council Kuwait hosted the Study UK Alumni Awards ceremony on 5th March, 2019 at the JW Marriot Hotel. Michael Gordon, Country Director welcomed everyone and spoke about the Alumni Programme, followed by a speech by Michael Davenport, Her Majesty's Ambassador to the State of Kuwait. World renowned author - Jean-Etienne Joullié then delivered a talk on leadership followed by an activity that encouraged people to team up and interact with each other. Following this, certificates were handed out to participants who attended Professional Development courses – whether face-to-face workshops or online webinars throughout the year.

The last segment of the evening was a much-awaited moment as the Award finalists for all 3 categories were invited to receive certificates and the winners were announced. There was excitement and anticipation in the air not just amongst the finalists but other guests which not only included friends and family of the finalists but also UK University representatives, judging panel members and embassy guests.

Are you a UK UnIversity Graduate? Click here to register to the Kuwait-UK Alumni Network.

See also