Thursday 20 July 2017

On 15 July 2017, the British Council USA and GREAT honored the finalists and winners of the Study UK Alumni Awards with an awards ceremony and reception, in partnership with the Institute of International Education (IIE) in New York. The 2017 honorees included Oliver Jeffers, Dr. Terence Yeo and Dr. Vicki Phillips, all of whom participated in a panel discussion to share their UK education experiences.

Oliver Jeffers from Ulster University was honored in the Professional Achievement category. He is a Northern Irish artist, illustrator and writer who now lives and works in Brooklyn. From directing music videos for U2, to illustration and picture-book making, Oliver’s work has been exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, along with separate exhibitions in Berlin, Sydney and Washington D.C.

Dr. Terence Yeo from Loughborough University and University of Cambridge received the Entrepreneurial award. He is a leading expert in the field of optical physics and the Founder and CEO of Fusion Optix, a world leading LED lighting and optical technology company.

Dr. Vicki Phillips from the University of Lincoln was recognized in the Social Impact category for her work in education. She has served as a teacher, school superintendent, state education minister, and director of education for the world’s largest philanthropic organisation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Leigh Gibson, Director of the British Council USA, shared her thoughts on the Alumni Awards, “We are delighted to celebrate this great programme of transatlantic exchange and send the 2017 winners our warmest congratulations. The special relationship between the US and UK is built on a shared history, mutual trust, respect and understanding. It is enriched immensely by the thousands of individuals who have chosen to study abroad, gaining a rich understanding of another culture, undertaking a rigorous academic course and building lifelong friendships along the way.”

Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE said, “The accomplishments of these distinguished alumni of British universities demonstrate the power of international education to prepare students and professionals to succeed in the global economy. We are proud to partner with the British Council in recognizing these extraordinary individuals. We welcome the contributions they have made to the arts, education and entrepreneurship in the United States, and to the free flow of ideas across cultures. America is made stronger through the diverse perspectives and talent brought by international students who study in the United States, and by U.S. citizens and other professionals who study in other countries and draw upon this knowledge as they contribute to our society.”

The Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education. 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.

The United States is one of fourteen countries participating in the Study UK Alumni Awards, representing alumni from 125 UK universities. Applications are now open for exceptional US based alumni from UK universities for the 2018 Alumni Awards.

Notes to Editor

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About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.

For more information, please visit:

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leader in providing international education strategies and program services. We work with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world.

IIE develops and implements prestigious scholarship and training programs in partnership with corporations, foundations and governments, provides opportunities to underserved populations, protects scholars and students in danger, and encourages teaching and learning across cultures. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices and affiliates worldwide, and over 1,300 member institutions.

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