Meet the winners - Alumni Awards 2020

We’re delighted to announce the winners of the Study UK Alumni Awards Saudi Arabia 2020, as announced at a digital ceremony in Riyadh on Wednesday night, 30 September. The event was hosted by Amanda Ingram, British Council Deputy Director, Neil Crompton, British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Eilidh Kennedy McLean, British Council Country Director, and a very specialguest, His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Bin Bandar Al Saud, Saudi Ambassador to the UK.

The winners are:

Professional Achievement Award

Dr. Samar Khan – Nottingham Trent University

Dr. Samar is an Assistant Professor at the Entrepreneurship Department and Dean of College of Business at Effat University. Dr. Samar is an aspiring Saudi female who lives by the creed that one should strive to serve a higher purpose by going above and beyond the call of duty. As an experienced educator and researcher in Energy Security & Renewable Energy, she is interested in topics around Entrepreneurship, Business, Management, and Leadership to help students streamline their efforts with industry’s needs in ways that would help bridge the gap between industry & academia.

Dr. Samar received her Bachelor's degree in English Literature from King Abdulaziz University and went on to pursue her Master's degree in Economics and Administration from Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University. 

Entrepreneurial Award

Abdulaziz Alsaeed – Newcastle University

Abdulaziz Alsaeed is an education entrepreneur or ‘edupreneur’ at heart. He chose to teach mainly because both his parents were teachers, and teaching has always been close to him. Abdulaziz taught and assisted in teaching programming and machine learning to bright students in top colleges. He enjoys making an impact through teaching, but also kept thinking about the millions of unlucky students who don’t have access to such quality education.

In 2013, Abdulaziz decided to change the way teaching is taught in order to help those students. He went from teaching 20 students a day in a college classroom, to reach millions of students every term. He did this by launching Noon Academy in 2013 - a high growth online education platform in the Middle East. The Academy started with just two tutors and less than 30 students, and today serves more than 4 million students, has a database of 1,500 certified tutors in Saudi Arabia and Egypt alone and recently been able to successfully raise the highest series A venture financing in MENA. By 2023, Noon Academy has a target of reaching 50 million students and helping them improve their lives.

Social Impact Award

Dr. Mawya Khafaji – University of Exeter

Dr. Mawya Khafaji is a medical physicist expert from Saudi Arabia and a social influencer at King Abdulaziz University where she facilitates an environment for the youth to conduct several volunteering ideas and equip them with the tools to deliver it.

Studying in the UK has widened Dr. Mawya’s vision and ideas of volunteering – from being a student at the University of Exeter and meeting people who taught her the real meaning of volunteering to oversee the Saudi school in Exeter for a year and putting into practice volunteering activities. The floods in Jeddah were a turning point in her life and she was able to involve youth by providing more opportunities for them to volunteer, create an impact and feel that they are part of the society. 

Despite the challenges, Dr. Mawya was able to establish a volunteering office at King Abdulaziz University hospital, which recently celebrated 200,000 volunteering hours in October 2019. Her expertise has been used in the university and beyond, including in the Ministry of Health to increase the involvement of students in their communities through volunteerism. The foundation of the Generation for Generations ‘G4G’ team is an example of this that aims to educate scholars on how to benefit from their studies and maximize their experience.

Meet this year's finalists

Among stiff competition from a variety of strong applicants, these candidates stood out. Find out what makes their story unique here:Alumni Awards - Finalists 2020

The Study UK Alumni Awards 2020-21 are open! Apply here

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