British Council

Friday 19 March 2021


The British Council celebrated the recipients of the Study UK Alumni Awards 2021 in Vietnam by announcing the three Alumni Awards winners recognised for their outstanding achievements as business professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders, and for their important contribution to strengthening collaborative ties between the UK and Vietnam.

The prestigious international award celebrates UK higher education and the achievements of UK alumni all over the world. Now in its 7th year, the award received more than 1,300 applications from international UK alumni in more than 114 countries, representing more than 148 UK higher education institutions across the UK. Recipients were selected for the three award categories: Professional Achievement, Entrepreneurial, and Social Impact.

The Professional Achievement Award, which recognises alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership in their professional field, was presented toTran Van Thanh, a graduate of London Metropolitan University. Thanh is the first Vietnamese professional lighting designer and the creative mind behind the lighting of Dragon Bridge in Danang at Central Vietnam, which won the prestigious award of Best Citation by International Association Lighting Designer (IALD) in 2012, FX Design Award and Darc Award (2015).

The Social Impact Award, which acknowledges alumni who have made an exceptional contribution to creating positive social change, was presented to Ms Hoang Le Thuy Duong, a graduate of London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Duong is making a positive difference as an Ambassador for Facing The World, a charity providing crucial surgery for thousands of children born with facial differences. Duong registered for the UK Alumni Award with the hope of inspiring others as she credits her UK education as a major factor in her career success and life choices. 

The Entrepreneurial Award, which highlights alumni who have played a leading role in innovation or creative solutions, was presented to Nguyen Phuong Thao, a graduate of the University of East Anglia. Thao and her team developed the first Circular Organic Agriculture Model in Vietnam with proven sustainable benefits: economic efficiency, zero-waste, farmer-friendliness, and production of healthy pork for a human to address Vietnams' challenge in organic pig farming transition to organic pig farming. Thao has received many awards and considerable recognition for her work in innovation and sustainable farming.

Upon receiving the award, Tran Van Thanh who is recognised for the Professional Achievement Award said that the award is clearly one of the most significant events of his professional career meanwhile the Entrepreneurial Award’s Nguyen Phuong Thao shared that the award is a great honour for her and the efforts she put in;  and Hoang Le Thuy Duong said that receiving the Social Impact Award is uplifting news for her during a gloomy Covid year and that she was looking forward to sharing  more wonderful achievements of her charity despite the challenges of the pandemic. 

Donna McGowan, Director at the British Council in Vietnam said: ‘The remarkable individuals we’re celebrating today at the Study UK Alumni Awards in Vietnam consider their UK education as a major contributor to helping them excel in their chosen careers and shape the world around them. This year’s awards ceremony is testimony not only to the diversity of UK alumni and their endeavours, but also to the transformative impact of a UK education. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), with nearly 4,000 Vietnamese students studying higher education in UK in academic year 2018/19, I believe that we will have much to celebrate in the future.'

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact:

Le Mai Hanh
Communications Manager
British Council in Vietnam
20 Thuy Khue
Ha Noi
T +84 (0)4 3728 1920 ext. 1957
F +84 (0)4 38434962

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. www.britishcouncil.org

About the Study UK Alumni Awards

The Alumni Awards were developed by the British Council and UK universities, and were launched by the British Council in September 2014. They are open to alumni currently residing in any country outside the UK, who have studied in the UK, at an officially recognised provider of UK university degree level study for a minimum of a term or semester, or who have been awarded a full UK degree level qualification (or higher), by a UK university, within the last 15 years. 

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 Alumni Awards celebrate and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education and raises the profile and reputation of UK alumni, their former universities, and the whole of UK education.

Awards are presented in three categories:

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 and creative new ideas and solutions, and/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.

For full details about the Study UK Alumni Awards please refer to https://study-uk.britishcouncil.org/alumni-awards  

For a list of previous Study UK Alumni Award recipients, please refer to https://study-uk.britishcouncil.org/alumni-awards/winners