Tuesday 16 February 2021

The British Council is delighted to announce the four winners for the Study UK Alumni Awards 2020-2021 in Azerbaijan.

These four winners were selected from more than 1,300 applicants from around the world, for their outstanding achievements as business professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders, and for their important contribution to strengthening collaborative ties between the UK and Azerbaijan.

The prestigious international award celebrates UK higher education and the achievements of UK alumni all over the world. Now in its seventh year, international UK alumni applied from more than 114 countries, representing more than 148 UK higher education institutions across the UK. Following in-depth interviews with a judging panel, recipients were selected for the three award categories: Professional Achievement, Entrepreneurial, and Social Impact. A special Her Majesty’s Ambassador’s Award was also presented.

  • The Professional Achievement Award, which recognises alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership in their professional field, was presented to Narmin Akhundova. Narmin is a graduate of the University of Essex and a molecular biologist. She is working as a leading specialist at the Scientific Research and Risk Assessment department of the Azerbaijan Food Safety Institute.
  • The Entrepreneurial Award, which highlights alumni who have played a leading role in innovation or creative solutions, was presented to Zulfiyya Aliyeva. Zulfiyya is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the University of Warwick. She is the founder of MESHQUE, a popular gym apparel brand which sources and makes it products locally in Azerbaijan.
  • The Social Impact Award, which acknowledges alumni who have made an exceptional contribution to creating positive social change, was presented to Maryam Taghiyeva. Maryam is a graduate of the University of Warwick and a a blockchain specialist and speaker with an international profile. She works for IDRAK Technology Transfer, one of the largest software and hardware providers in Azerbaijan. She leads various initiatives independently and through the NGO called Integration of Azerbaijani Youth to Europe Organisation (AGAT).
  • Her Majesty’s Ambassador’s Award, a special award category, was awarded to Fidan Javadova. Fidan is a graduate of King’s College London and the founder of BeWorks Automation, innovating in the processes of control automation, renewables and electrical vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure across the UK and Azerbaijan. 

 Mr Summer Xia, Director in Azerbaijan, British Council, comments:

“...This year’s finalists represent the life-changing impact, diversity and relevance of UK education in the modern world.”

Notes to Editor

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 been officially registered as a degree level student or higher, 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 ideasand 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. 

Please refer to the Study UK Alumni Awards website for full details. Also click here for a list of previous Study UK Alumni Award recipients.

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. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and 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. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. 

See also