British Council's IELTS 2015 award winner
One of the British Council's IELTS 2015 award winner

Ten students celebrate new beginnings as winners of the British Council's IELTS Awards 2015

On Thursday, 20th August 2015, ten winners of the British Council IELTS Scholarship Award 2015 were given scholarships worth INR 300,000 towards the cost of their tuition fees. The Awards ceremony was held at the ITC Grand Central, Mumbai which saw the presence of 7 winners at the event. Winners who couldn’t be physically present at the event, shared their videos which was showcased at the event. The British Council IELTS Awards were presented to winners by guests of honour Sarah Deverall and Sharon Memis.

The major highlight of this year’s awards were the diversity in subjects that these winners were planning to pursue in countries like the UK, US, Italy, Switzerland and Canada.Each of these winners was picked out from over a thousand applicants, following a rigorous application process which included essay writing on a topic of their choice in English, a presentation to the judges’ panel and interviews. The students chose topics as diverse as ‘Clean India – Attitude change is more important than the movement’ and ‘Academic achievement is more important for society than creative achievements.  How far do you agree with this statement?’

The ceremony, which was attended by the winners and their family and friends as well as members of the media, was opened by Sharon Memis, Director – West India for the British Council. In her welcome speech she talked about the Council’s mission to spread knowledge and the understanding of the UK whilst helping young people achieve their dreams of pursuing studies abroad. She also emphasized on the need to create global citizens. Sarah Deverall, Director – Examinations India and Customer Service, South Asia congratulated all the students and their parents present at the event. She spoke about IELTS being recognised as the world’s leading international English language test and how it is a trusted global passport to international opportunity.

All the winners also had the chance to personally share their experiences with Sharon and Sarah and were approached by the media separately for sharing their future plans and details about their areas of interest that they plan to pursue. Each winner present at the event, was presented with a cheque and a trophy by Sarah and Sharon following which each winner gave a short speech talking about their future endeavours and their plans to go abroad. Aamena Ahmad and Namita Rajesh were unable to attend the event and made their presence felt through personalized videos. Aamena’s parents, however, collected her prize on her behalf.

The British Council IELTS Scholarship Awards 2015 winners were: Aamena Ahmad from Gurgaon; Susmita Dey from Noida; Arijeet Ghosh from Ahmedabad; Shweta Dabholkar from Mumbai; Raj Verma from Pune; Chakshudaa Masih from Hyderabad; Navya Hebbar from Bangalore; Rajrupa Das from Kolkata, Namita Rajesh from Faridabad and Sindhu Thirumalaisamy from Bangalore. They are heading off for their undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral study programmes in the UK, the US, Canada, Italy and Switzerland to take up their places on courses ranging from animal behavior, law, publishing, fine arts, anthropology, journalism, international relations, development studies and contemporary literature and culture.

The event was covered by top tier education supplements as well as mainlines like Times of India, Education Times, Hindustan Times, Mid-day and DNA to name a few. The spokesperson interviews were handled for both Sharon and Sarah. Where Sharon focused on the UK messaging particularly on the Generation UK-India programme, which added a wider context to how IELTS can help students achieve their academic goals and get support from the British Council in further developing their global careers.