Thursday 15 March 2018

The British Council announced the recipients of the Study UK Alumni Awards 2018 in Thailand during an award ceremony at the Residence, British Embassy, Bangkok. In total, three winners, plus the winner of the ‘popular vote’ Facebook competition, and the other eight finalists, were recognised for their outstanding achievements as business professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders, as well as for their important contribution to strengthening collaborative ties between the UK and Thailand. In Thailand this year, additional recognition was given to the winner of the ‘popular vote’ award on Facebook, whereby the public were given the opportunity to vote on their favourite alumni story, and the positive impact created for both countries.

The prestigious international award celebrates UK higher education and the achievements of UK alumni all over the world. Now in its fourth year, the award received more than 1,700 applications from international UK alumni in a record 123 countries, representing more than 140 UK higher education institutions across the UK. Following in-depth interviews with a judging panel, recipients were selected for three award categories: Professional Achievement, Entrepreneurial, and Social Impact.

The Professional Achievement Award recognises alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership in their professional field and was presented to Dr Uracha Ruktanonchai; a graduate of the University of Nottingham. Dr Ruktanonchai is a researcher at the National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC). Her work involves research and development in Nanotechnology, and technology transfer to the industrial and service sectors to increase Thailand’s competitiveness. Currently, she is working with young researchers, helping them to continue their research career and promote the country’s science and technology capability. She uses science and technology as a tool for collaboration at international level.

The Social Impact Award, which acknowledges alumni who have made an exceptional contribution to creating positive social change, was presented to Prof. Agachai Sumalee; a graduate of the University of Leeds. Prof. Sumalee is a world-class academic in the field of transportation, and during his successful career, he has worked in the UK, Hong Kong, and Thailand. He has successfully transferred his knowledge of the concept and its technology to improve Thailand’s transportation system including reforming the bus regulation system in Bangkok, the National GPS system for road safety, and the All-Thai taxi system, as well as serving on several government committees.

The Entrepreneurial Award highlights alumni who have played a leading role in business innovation and was presented to Arch Wongchindawest; a graduate of the University of Warwick. Named in the Forbes “30 under 30” list, Arch is a driving force behind Thailand’s burgeoning social enterprise sector. Arch is the founder and CEO of; Thailand’s leading social enterprise, helping over 180 leading brands give back in a more effective and sustainable way.

Thailand’s ‘Popular Vote’ Award, as voted for by the public audience through our social media channel, was presented to Dr.Pimkhwan Bunjitpimola graduate of Imperial College London. As vice president of Navamin 9, Dr.Pimkhwan Bunjitpimol works creatively to find innovative, goal-driven solutions to transform her organisation. She co-founded Vital Glow: Skin and Aesthetic Center and collaborates with leading professionals to bring in groundbreaking skincare technologies. For Dr.Pimkhwan, Imperial College London fosters her to be a lifelong learner and instills a commitment to expand cultural competence within her organisation. This eliminates barriers to health care service delivery at the Hospital which caters 50% international patients. She is destined to be the anchor for changes in healthcare industry and brings Thailand to the forefront of medical tourism at global level.

Brian Davidson, British Ambassador to Thailand said  “I have really enjoyed hearing the 12 finalists for the British Council’s Alumni Awards describe what a British education has meant to them personally. How it has helped inspire them and shape their aspirations and goals. And we can all see from their stories the impact they are already having in Thailand – across many fields. The UK’s education system has always been about equipping students with life skills and encouraging them to think creatively, not only teaching them the core subjects. In turn, international students add diversity, knowledge and expertise to British society. This is particularly true of these 12 finalists and, indeed, the generations of Thai students who have long been coming to the UK to study. It is a connection we value and which sets the foundation for ever closer partnership between our two countries.”

Andrew Glass OBE, Director at the British Council in Thailand, said: “I am delighted that we were able to launch the Study UK Alumni Awards in Thailand again this year. The award is all about honouring the success of individuals whose achievements here in Thailand have been, in some measure, influenced by their experience of studying at a UK university. 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.”

The Alumni Awards were developed by the British Council and UK universities, and 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 one 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.

For full details about the Study UK Alumni Awards please refer to:

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. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to 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. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.

We have been in Thailand since 1952 and have six offices in Thailand; five in Bangkok and one Chiang Mai. We are committed to developing relationships between UK and Thailand and creating opportunity through our work English, education, examinations and the arts.