Study UK Alumni Awards Philippines

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.

The British Council in the Philippines is proud to announce that it will be joining the launch of the tenth year of the prestigious Alumni Awards. In line with our 45th anniversary in the country, we wish to celebrate the contributions of Filipino UK alumni and increase their visibility and exposure to professional opportunities.

The awards are open to alumni who have, within the last 15 years (i.e. 2008 - 2023), enrolled at an officially recognised body or received a recognised award from a UK higher education institution, at degree level or above (degree level is defined as band 9 and above on the UK ENIC band framework), either at a UK university in the UK, for a minimum of one term or semester, OR awarded a full UK degree level qualification (or higher), awarded by a recognised UK HEI, in their home country (Transnational Education - TNE/long distance). 

Award Categories

There are four award categories:

Science and Sustainability Award

Recognising alumni who have distinguished themselves through their career and achievements in the world of science and sustainability, and who can demonstrate the impact and scale of their achievements in their profession, and beyond.

Areas of work could include, but are not limited to climate action, clean energy, medicine, sustainable cities and communities, engineering, industry and construction. 

Culture and Creativity Award

Recognising alumni who have carved a career for themselves in arts and culture. We are looking for individuals who can demonstrate their artistic ingenuity, influence and creativity.

Areas of work could include, but are not limited to arts, design, humanities, traditional media, music, video, TV, sports and online content and audiovisual media creation (e.g., blogging, vlogging including for YouTube and social media). 

Social Action Award

Recognising alumni who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others.

Areas of work could include, but are not limited to education, peace and justice and reducing inequality, poverty and hunger and broader humanitarian work or work for social good.

Business and Innovation Award

Recognising alumni who are active in initiating and contributing to innovative or creative new ideas, solutions or business opportunities, that have the potential for growth.

Areas of work could include, but are not limited to entrepreneurship, business, technology and finance. 

Study UK Alumni Awards Winners (2023/24)

Science and Sustainability Award – Atty. Bryan San Juan (University of Oxford, Hertford College and the Oxford Faculty of Law Scholar) for his work in co-leading cases preventing illegal reclamation and mining activities in Palawan. He also leads the advisory work to RE developers in the country. He is currently a Senior Partner at Sarmiento Loriega Law Office, specialising in environment, climate change practice, and energy law. He is one of the youngest individuals featured in Asia Business Law Journal's List of Top 100 lawyers in the Philippines (2023). His first major advisory work involved a large solar power project in Leyte, which helped the Sarmiento Loriega Law Office earn the Asian Legal Business M&A Deal of the Year Award.

Business and Innovation Award – Atty. Rowena Ruiz (School of Oriental and African Studies - University of London, Chevening Scholar) for her invaluable contribution during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic where she recommended efficient procurement policy measures, initiated the GPPB-TSO Online Blacklisting Portal and established the GPPB Online Portal for transparency on the use of public funds, garnering international acclaim for accountability in the Philippines' COVID-19 Response Program. In 2021, she was recognised by GovInsider Asia as one of the notable women of the world for transforming the public sector through technology. She was also one of the leading actors in securing the Philippines' observer status in the World Trade Organization. She is currently the Executive Director at the Government Procurement Policy Board - Technical Support Office, spearheading the complete digitalisation of public procurement services.

Social Action Award – Josephine Ambalada (King’s College London, University of Oxford), for her outstanding contribution to special needs education and mental health. She is the founder and managing director of Winged Wonder Institute of Education, an organisation established in 2006, catering to individuals with special needs. Through events organised by ABS-CBN from 2010 to 2019, Winged Wonder has generously offered free classes, mental health and Special Education (SPED) seminars, medical missions and comprehensive educational consultancy services to marginalised communities. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Psychology at the University of Chichester, training as a cognitive neuroscientist further deepening her understanding of the intricate connections between psychology, pedagogy and neuroscience. 

Culture and Creativity Award – Catherine Lasam-Ballo (University College London), for her work as an artist, educator and advocate. She is a Centenary Masters Scholar of University College London, where she completed her Masters in Art Education, Culture and Practice with distinction. As an educator, she is a licensed professional teacher for MAPEH, with a teaching career spanning over twenty years. She has co-written the Arts and Design Track subject as part of the K12 Curriculum with the Department of Education and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. She also founded ARTguro Philippines, an initiative that engages, empowers and inspires teachers towards positive change in the Philippine education system through the arts. As an artist, she has exhibited her works in the country and abroad, including staging solo shows at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, NCCA Gallery, and the Corredor. She creates participatory paper installations, with her current works focusing on the nature of change in Filipino culture and narratives.

Study UK Alumni Awards Finalists

Science and Sustainability:
Jonas Marie Dumdum (University of South Wales)
Dr. Dante Salvado Jr. (University of Sheffield, Erasmus+ Scholar) 
Business and Innovation:
Abigail Casanova (University of Oxford)
Atty. Jose Belarmino (University of Westminster, Chevening Scholar)
Social Action:
Dr. Eric Palacpac (University of Leeds, The Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program)
John Bert Macato (University of Westminster, Westminster Disaster Regeneration Scholar)
Culture and Creativity:
Stephanie Tudtud (Cardiff Metropolitan University)

Timeline 2023/24

1 September - 22 October 2023 Application period
October - November 2023 Shortlisting of applications
December 2023 Announcement of national finalists
February 2024 National awards
April - August 2024 Announcement of global finalists and digital celebrations
August - November 2024 Announcement and celebration of global winners

The finalists and winners of the global Alumni Awards will be announced in 2024 and celebrated in a digital campaign that will raise the profile of their story and success. All eligible applicants at the national-level will be put forward for the global Awards.

Global Awards

Meet some Filipino alumni who have made it to the Global Awards:

Baby Ruth Villarama, 2018 Global Alumni Awardee for Social Impact

Birmingham City University

Baby Ruth Villarama is an award-winning filmmaker internationally acclaimed for her documentaries which shed light on social issues such as human trafficking and slavery. She began in her field as a researcher, producer and journalist for renowned media outlets like ABS-CBN News, Reuters, National Geographic Channel and CNN, and later co-founded Voyage Film Studios which works with local and international creatives alike to produce compelling and socially relevant films.

Her latest work, Sunday Beauty Queen, which tackles the themes of identity, escapism and the harsh realities of Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong, won Best Picture at the 2017 Metro Manila Film Awards. 

Melvin Sanicas, 2023 Global Finalist for Science and Sustainability

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, University of Leeds, University of Leicester

Melvin’s cost-effectiveness study on the 2-dose human papillomavirus vaccination schedule was instrumental in Southeast Asia adopting a school-based vaccination programme, protecting more girls from cervical cancer, the fourth most frequent cancer among women in Asia. He launched the Collaboration for Tuberculosis (TB) Vaccine Discovery, a global network dedicated to developing new vaccines for TB. His publication on live TB vaccines helped shape the development pathway for whole cell TB vaccines. He ensured expansion of the use of the quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIV) for children 6 months of age and older, protecting thousands of children from influenza each year. He was also one of the top 100 scientific influencers globally on Covid-19.

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