The British Council in the Philippines together with the British Embassy Manila, the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the British Alumni Association hosted the 2023 UK Alumni Soiree on the 23rd of October at British Ambassador Laure Beaufils’ Residence.
In line with Philippine-British Friendship Day, the event gathered nearly two hundred Filipino UK alumni across the country to celebrate the achievements of British education and the enduring bilateral relations between the UK and the Philippines.
Ambassador Beaufils remarked, “Education shapes who we are and it shapes the future of our societies. It increases intercultural understanding and breaks down stereotypes. It supports the values we hold dear – equality, respect, and fairness – and gives us the tools to deliver on them. And of course education creates life-long friendships. Education is a bridge that connects the Philippines and the United Kingdom. I am proud that this bridge is growing and strengthening every day.”
The UK has long hosted many Filipinos looking to pursue further tertiary education. In 2021/2022, UK study visa issuance for Filipinos have surpassed pre-pandemic figures. Under the prestigious Chevening scholarship, 565 Filipinos have received bursaries to study in the UK since the programme’s founding in 1984.
“Many Filipinos who have made marks on their careers are alumni of UK universities. Recognising the role education plays as a cornerstone and catalyst towards lasting national development, the British Council has supported the fellowship of some Filipinos in UK universities, and the last few years has sent around 75 TNE and ten Newton Agham PhD scholars with the support of government partners. The Philippines is a wellspring of changemakers, and we are committed to supporting these talents and endeavours, and all the ways in which it has nurtured the bonds between the Philippines and the UK,” shared Lotus Postrado, Country Director of the British Council in the Philippines.
Live performances, art showcases and a short film screening featuring select alumni highlighted the event.
It also welcomed the country’s inaugural edition of the Study UK Alumni Awards. Launched in 2014, the Alumni Awards recognises and honours the outstanding achievements of individuals who have enrolled at or have received a qualification awarded by a UK Higher Education Institution within the last 15 years.
British Chamber Executive Director Chris Nelson, notes: “This event signifies the ever-growing relations of the Filipino and British community through cultural and educational exchanges with the help of the British Embassy and the British Council. I believe that the increasing number of Filipino UK alumni will leverage the Philippines’ growth by exploring a variety of insights and trade avenues that will lead to a vibrant economy which attracts foreign investors through a more enhanced educational sector and workforce which is in line with the British Chambers’ advocacies.”
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With thanks to Cargo Fish, Don Revy, and Charles & James for sponsoring the event.