Three European Cheveners Win Study UK Regional Alumni Awards

13 Jun 2018

The British Council announced in April the names of 21 outstanding regional winners of the Study UK Alumni Awards. These awards seek to recognise outstanding achievements of professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders, and are open to international alumni who have studied at a UK higher education institution within the past 15 years. There are three categories of award—Entrepreneurial, Social Impact, and Professional Achievement—and we're delighted that Chevening has a regional winner from Europe in each!

Entrepreneurial Award

Congratulations to Chevening Alumna Gordana Vrencoska (2003, North Macedonia) who was the regional winner in the Wider Europe category of the Entrepreneurial Award. This award recognises UK alumni who are active in initiating or contributing to innovative or creative new ideas, solutions, or business opportunities. Gordana found out about the alumni awards from the Chevening Facebook page, and feels 'honoured' to be named the winner for Wider Europe in this category.

'Thirteen years ago, not having design studies in my country, I went on to study design at Central Saint Martins in London as a Chevening Scholar,' Gordana told us. 'It was a unique and life-changing experience. In the past 12 years since my UK studies, I was able to make a contribution to design education and development of design as an academic discipline in the Republic of North Macedonia.'

'In 2006, I became one of the founding members of the first Faculty of Art and Design—EURM in Skopje. It was a perfect opportunity to apply my knowledge and design methods in establishing the new study programme. Since 2011, I have been the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and member of the University Senate. This year, I am teaching my twelfth generation of design students and I am very happy to say that my dream of higher education in design in North Macedonia has come true!'

Social Impact Award

Our second winner is Roman Fishchuk (2013, Ukraine), the winner in the Wider Europe category of the Social Impact Award. This award recognises alumni whose work has positively changed their society or community, which Roman has done during his work as the CEO and Founder of the Training and Practice Hearing Centre at the Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University, Ukraine. The medical centre is unique in Western Ukraine and provides high quality medical care to children and adults, free of charge. He has also worked with the World Health Organisation to educate hundreds of people on hearing health.

'It made me feel very honoured and proud to receive the Study UK Alumni Award from the British Council. It means that the work I do for the community is acknowledged by much more experienced people than I am and motivates me to continue with my activities.'

Professional Achievement Award

We're delighted that Gosia Pearson (2006, Poland) has won the Professional Achievement Award in the Europe category, an award that recognises alumni whose work has created change in their chosen profession. Gosia received a Chevening Scholarship to complete her doctoral studies in International Relations with a year at the University of Oxford, and went on to author the EU’s policy position for the World Humanitarian Summit, aimed at improving the EU's response to humanitarian crises.

'I felt truly honoured to receive the UK Alumni Award from the British Council, and especially to be placed among the past winners whose inspirational work has had great impact on their communities and professions,' said Gosia.

'I was particularly proud that the British Council acknowledged my contribution to the European Union's efforts to save lives and alleviate suffering of millions of people who are victims of natural disasters or conflicts around the world. Together with exceptionally dedicated colleagues, I help ensure that those who need humanitarian assistance receive it swiftly and efficiently. While this award is a great recognition of my work so far, I am aware that there is still a lot to learn and I am encouraged to keep improving.'

Congratulations to all the Chevening Alumni who were nominated for the Study UK awards, whether at national, regional, or global level. We hope that you will join us in congratulating our winners, and celebrating all the amazing achievements of Chevening alumni worldwide in business, entrepreneurship, and social enterprise.