The Study UK Alumni Awards 2020-21 recognise and celebrate the benefits that studying at a UK university has had upon the individual, their community and country.

What began as a pilot in 2015 in three countries is now a global awards programme open to alumni in every country, celebrating outstanding alumni around the world. All alumni are entered into the Global Alumni Awards, with additional national-level awarding ceremonies in 12 countries: Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Greece, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey. The finalists and winners of the Global Alumni Awards will be announced online as part of a digital campaign to promote their stories from February 2021.

This year, a record number of applications were received from alumni in more than 140 countries, representing alumni from more than 80 per cent of all UK higher education institutions.

In future years we hope to continue to celebrate and share the inspirational stories of many more outstanding UK alumni, showcasing the value and impact of a UK higher education. 

Professional Achievement Award - Azfar Khan

Middlesex University

Azfar completed his BSC (Hons) I.T. from Middlesex University, London in 2005. Currently, he is the Business Head for Chemicals at Engro Polymer and Chemicals Ltd. 

With more than 10 years of experience in Marketing, Industrial Sales and General Management, Azfar has handled challenging and changing environments effectively. In his career so far, he has managed sales volumes of over $70M and established new business opportunities based on research & future business needs. His current role entails developing new prospects, designing marketing strategies and ensuring market expansion through business–client partnerships, His contribution in various roles has been significant in the turnaround of his organization, from launching new businesses, to recovering from a point of being sold out to now becoming one of the fastest growing petrochemical company in the country.

He dedicates a lot of his professional success to his education in UK. His time at Middlesex University helped develop his personality to face future challenges, build his analytic thinking, dependence on research, working with diversity and maturity of approach toward solving problems.

Azfar is now part of the senior management responsible for chalking out the future strategy of the company and fulfilling the vision of making it the leading petrochemical company globally.

Professional Achievement Award - Dr. Saima Eman

The University of Sheffield, Middlesex University

Dr. Saima Eman is a Psychology teacher, researcher, consultant and a volunteer at Lahore College for Women University since 2009. Her work has created an impact on female students and teachers’ psychology scholarship, ethics, and career education, psychology researchers, and child education in Pakistan.

She sees her time at the University of Sheffield as an enriching experience which provided her with the right kind of exposure to research practices. This enabled her to achieve excellence as a Psychology teacher, research supervisor, and an ethically rigorous researcher supporting the empowerment of women in terms of high-quality education and research in psychology.

She is now taking her skills and expertise to universities and institutions of Pakistan, USA, UK, Europe, India, Chile and other countries of the world through webinars, freelance Psychology teaching, research collaboration, publication, her continued professional development, and organisational memberships.

Professional Achievement Award - Dr. Muhammad Salman Khan

Loughborough University

Dr. Muhammad Salman Khan completed his PhD in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Loughborough University in 2013. Currently, he is Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering, and the Principal Investigator in Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare (AIH, IIPL) at the National Centre of Artificial Intelligence (NCAI), at the University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, Pakistan. He also serves as a member of Roster of Experts on Digital Health, World Health Organization.

Dr. Salman’s research profile is multidisciplinary, encompassing diverse application fields including mining, astronomy, volcanology, radar, speech processing, communications, and healthcare. Recently, he has been focusing on research and development in innovative digital health technologies. Some research projects within healthcare include image-based carcinoma detection, AI-enabled thalassaemia diagnosis, automatic sound-based heart abnormality detection, image-based COVID-19 detection. Collectively, he has been awarded a dedicated PKR 50 million funds in grants as PI & Co-PI in multiple projects and has supervised/co-supervised multiple MS and PhD researchers. His vision is to transform the healthcare system of Pakistan through innovative digital technologies, promoting local manufacturing, improving quality and accessibility, and creating training and employment opportunities for the youth. 

Professional Achievement Award - Dr. Hifza Rasheed

University of Leeds

Dr. Hifza Rasheed completed her PhD research work at University of Leeds with focused on exposure to chemical forms of arsenic - a naturally occurring element with multiple toxic effects

She is a water/wastewater quality expert with more than 15 years of experience in water and food safety, water supply, monitoring of water resources, wastewater profiling, exposure risk assessment and technology development. Dr. Hifza’s work was instrumental in drawing the attention of Government on the issue of waterborne diseases, improving safe water access, capacity building of water supply agencies, climate resilient water safety plans, zero liquid discharge, chemical and biological risk modelling.

Dr. Hifza noted that University of Leeds provided her with qualities and skills vital to addressing human and environmental health challenges, critical reviews and analysis, structured thinking, intellectual rigour, and an awareness of ecosystem and human health requirements.

In future, she aims to encourage actions on water quality and quantity issues at all levels to facilitate the adoption of water smart approaches on an environmentally sustainable basis.

Entrepreneurial Award - Falak Shaikhani

University of Warwick, London School of Economics

Falak Shaikhani completed her BSc in Economics from University of Warwick in 2015 and MSc Finance from London School of Economics in 2017 (with distinction in dissertation).

At present, she is the founder and director at The Aster School, a part of Alpha Education Network. Recently, she started her counselling venture - The Absolute Guide and created a publishing company - Little Stars Publishers. She likes to spend her time with the students in her school.

Falak’s considers her experience at Warwick and London’s School of Economics as nothing short of life-altering. She feels her time in the UK, transformed into a leader and entrepreneur who believes in, “Whatever, it takes!”.  Inspired by her experience abroad, she aims to provide world-class education in Pakistan.

Falak believes in providing innovative educational solutions alongside 21st century skills - with 200+ students enrolled at Aster, ten workbooks published internationally and collaborating with massive educational networks.

Entrepreneurial Award - Sheikh Fahdel

London Southbank University

Fahdel Sheikh completed his MSc. Health Services & Hospital Management from London Southbank University in 2005. He is a leading Healthcare professional, philanthropist and more recently a prominent diplomat. His contribution in the field of health services, health education has reshaped the not-for-profit health institutions in Pakistan. Fahdel was awarded by President of the Republic of Philippines for his numerous health and Philanthropic contributions at the community level and beyond.

Fahdel feels graduating from London Southbank University is a privilege that instilled in him the importance of hard work, self-reliance, and perseverance. The course on Medical Architecture Research and Health Economics became solid foundations for replicating the trends in modern Health Systems of the United Kingdom in Pakistan.

Fahdel is now transforming health service delivery and health education for Institutions in Pakistan. He wishes to expand Avicenna Medical & Dental College into a world class University like London Southbank University through international collaborations with renowned British Universities.

Entrepreneurial Award - Imtinan Ahmad

University of Manchester

Imtinan Ahmad has obtained a Master of Science (MSc) – Marketing degree from University of Manchester. In addition to being a prolific entrepreneur and spearheading many businesses in Pakistan, he is also a public speaker in support of the growth of small businesses. Being appointed as Athalos Global Ambassador in Pakistan for United Nation’s SDGs, Imtinan’s ideas, services and contributions are widely appreciated by the governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Punjab, SAARC, United Nations, and the World Bank. Imtinan’s dedication to helping young entrepreneurs, his mentoring & coaching programs are admired & recognised by his clients and students across the country.

Imtinan observes that the University of Manchester provided him with education that was not mere memorisation, rather he learnt about researching the topic, developing an argument, and getting practical experience in life. He gained entrepreneurial prudence, zealous motivation & strategic thinking whilst at Manchester Business School.

Imtinan is now utilising the full potential of his exceptional entrepreneurial skills by launching innovation hubs across the country where women entrepreneurs would learn about marketing and gain business acumen to compete in a rapidly changing global economy.  

Entrepreneurial Award - Muhammad Kamran Basit

University of Sheffield

Kamran Basit holds a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from University of Sheffield which he completed in 2013. He is currently the Managing Partner of EASTERN Enterprises (EE); one of the leading service company providing unparalleled services in technology, strategy, consulting and digital. Kamran is steering EE to develop an innovative and thriving culture for the welfare of the society.

Kamran is responsible for the company's overall vision and strategy as well as day-to-day operations. In his role he spearheads major assignments for a wide range of multinational organisations in diversified disciplines; with the goal of helping them successfully meet their strategic business goals in Pakistan. His capability of leading diverse cross-functional business partnerships along with right combination of relevant industry expertise, knowledge and novelties generates real and sustainable value for customers and partners.

Kamran Basit believes his University of Sheffield experience laid a strong engineering foundation, which has equipped Kamran with the required cutting-edge skills and ability to think, solve and drive. He is pursuing a multi-pronged approach to steer Pakistan’s industry towards digital transformation and consequently, building a platform for industry-academia collaboration for the uplift of Pakistan’s economy.

Social Impact - Hamna Zain

City University of London, University of London

Barrister Hamna Zain is a qualified Barrister and has done her bar-at-law from Lincolns Inn, UK. She was based in Central London and studied in City Law School. She has worked pro bono in central London crown courts in family and criminal cases as well.

Hamna is currently working at Wateen telecom limited head office based in Lahore as senior legal counsel along with running her own law firm with the name of Zen Law Chambers providing corporate consultancy all over Pakistan. She has been working as a lawyer/barrister in Pakistan for the past 10 years.

Previously, she held a managerial position in a FMCG company in Lahore, which was facing many challenges at the time of her joining. Due to her diligence she managed to reduce costs, build efficiencies, and created workplans to minimise risks to the business. She also devised new policies in addition to revamping existing ones and negotiated and drafted all company settlements with the express aim to avoid costs of litigation and mitigate any potential company liability.

Social Impact - Munir Sewani

The Open University

Munir Sewani holds a degree in Masters in Online and Distance Education which he obtained from The Open University. He currently is a University teacher, Human Rights educator, independent researcher, social activist, and Founder of Global Forum for Teacher Educators. Munir’s is active in promoting human rights values in support of minority and marginalised communities. He aims to use radical alternative approaches to break the prejudices and social constructs of academia through open educational praxis and low-cost technologies.

During Masters in Online and Distance Education from The Open University, UK, Munir participated in communities of practices, completed a few individual and collaborative projects, attended webinars, and presented his research work in conferences.  Munir observes that his Master’s degree has empowered him with digital literacy to pilot innovative and inclusive ideas and supported his passion to disseminate education to disadvantaged communities. All in all, this distance education has transformed Munir into a networked practitioner.

Social Impact - Syed Jalal Hussain

University of London, University of Warwick

Syed Jalal Hussain has an LLB degree from University of London and International Development Law and Human Rights degree from University of Warwick. His versatile experience and expertise has led him to become one of the youngest Special Prosecutor’s in the National Accountability Bureau, a federal executive agency of the Government of Pakistan. There he plays a key role in anti-corruption, and in helping Pakistan recover proceeds of corruption, thereby significantly assisting with the Government’s pro-poor goals.

Jalal co-founded a youth organisation, Zimmedar Shehri (Responsible Citizens) with the aim to contribute towards enhancing citizen's social responsibility. The organisation enjoys global recognition, with its efforts been acknowledged by global leaders such as the former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. It has been involved in projects including flood relief drives, community cleaning drives, clothing drives and building a state-of-the-art school in a flood affected area in rural Punjab.


Jalal’s courses in the UK helped him in analysing the scientific method that underlies the practice of law, economic and social policy in Pakistan. Both the University of London and the University of Warwick provided the tools to learn about the principles that underline the functioning of different societies; the ability to handle a wide range of evidence, analyse complex issues and present conclusions in a clear manner.

Social Impact - Sikander Bizenjo

University of East Anglia

Sikander Bizenjo has acquired his graduate degree in Development Economics from the University of East Anglia in the UK. After completing his degree, Sikander joined as the Karachi coordinator of Pakistan’s largest educational campaign – Alif Ailaan. He spearheaded a myriad of policies for Sindh government and aided local government in improving conditions of various schools.

Currently he is a manager at Dawood Hercules, and the co-founder of Balochistan Youth Action Committee, – a youth-led response team aiding the most marginalized segments in Pakistan. The impact of his work was instrumental during the lockdown.

In past, he has led Urban Youth Project at Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL) to promote youth-led businesses from lower-income and marginalized communities of Karachi. He helped train 80 micro-entrepreneurs, including 40 girls to empower them socially and economically. Sikander has also served at the office of Chief Economist of Pakistan at the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms in a highly competitive fellowship.

Sikander’s education from UEA transformed him into the person he is today. The experience was pivotal – attaining leadership capabilities, understanding complex socio-economic issues, and critically solving challenges.

Sikander is taking his expertise and skills to underscore the problems of the vulnerable stratas – ethnic and religious minorities, including women. Placing inclusivity and diversity at the heart of development in Pakistan and across South Asia. Sikander is the curator of Global Shapers Karachi Hub - Global Shapers is the youth initiative of the World Economic Forum.