British Council Pakistan 2021

Celebrating the achievements of alumni in Kazakhstan

When outstanding individuals receive a world-class education in the UK, the effects can last a lifetime. The Alumni Awards shine a light on the impact that alumni of UK higher education institutions are making in their chosen field and how this was sparked by their studies in the UK.

The British Council has launched the eighth year of a prestigious award celebrating the outstanding achievements of the UK’s international alumni around the world.

The Study UK Alumni Awards are open to alumni living anywhere outside of the UK. Award winners and finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities, industries and countries. The Study UK Alumni Awards celebrate and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education and raise the international profile of UK alumni and their former universities.

The awards are open to alumni currently residing in any country outside the UK who have either studied in the UK at an officially recognised provider of UK university degree level study for a minimum of a term or semester, or who have been awarded a full UK degree level qualification (or higher) by a UK university through a local institution overseas, within the last 15 years.

There are four award categories:

  • Science and Sustainability Award – Recognising alumni who have distinguished themselves through their career and achievements in the world of science and sustainability, and who can demonstrate the impact and scale of their achievements in their profession and beyond. Areas of work could include: Climate action, clean energy, medicine, sustainable cities and communities, engineering, industry and construction.
  • Social Action Award – Recognising alumni who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others. Areas of work could include: Reducing inequality, poverty and hunger. Education and upskilling. Peace and justice.
  • Business and Innovation Award – Recognising alumni who are active in initiating and contributing to innovative or creative new ideas, solutions or business opportunities that have the potential for growth. Areas of work could include: Entrepreneurship, business, technology.
  • Ambassador’s Award will be presented in Kazakhstan instead of Culture and Creativity Award recognising alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional industry, and who can demonstrate the impact and scale of their achievements in their profession, and beyond.


1 September 2021 Applications open
29 October 2021 Applications close at 16.00 (BST)
November–January 2021 Shortlisting of applications
February 2022 Announcement of finalists
5 March 2022 Kazakhstan national-level winners announced
April–August 2022 Global finalist announcement and digital celebration
September 2022 Global Alumni Awards winners announced

Here are our finalists

Business and Innovation Award

Renat Bekturov

University of Leicester, Bolashaq Scholarship

Renat is the CEO of the Astana International Exchange Ltd. (AIX), the part of the Astana International Financial Centre. He is developing the public markets in Central Asia to support economic growth and therefore elevate living standards in the region.

Ulzhan Bissarinova

University College London, Bolashaq Scholarship

Ulzhan is a research assistant at the Institute of Smart Systems and Artificial Intelligence. She is focused on research in Artificial Intelligence and currently working on and leading the project ‘Face detection and facial landmark detection from event streams/cameras.’

Medet Dyussembayev

University of Warwick, Chevening Scholarship

Medet is the lead expert in innovation realm. Now, he is heading the Project Management Group for Education Modernisation Project implemented by the World Bank and the Ministry of Education & Science in Kazakhstan aimed at equipping schools with the innovative education equipment for children with special needs in order to improve quality and reduce disparities in learning results.

Science and Sustainability Award

Dr. Mukhit Kulmaganbetov

Cardiff University, Vice Chancellor Postgraduate Research Excellence Scholarship

Mukhit is now leading multiple research projects not only at the Kazakh Eye Research Institute but also at the Centre for Eye and Vision Research in Hong Kong. He is the only ophthalmologist in the country who is eligible to be a Principal Investigator for Government-funded grants and supervision of Kazakhstan’s doctoral research.

Murat Umbetkaliyev

University of Sheffield, Bolashaq Scholarship

Murat is a rotating equipment inspector at Tengizchevroil. He is ensuring the safety and reliability of production operations at the Tengiz oil field, conducting daily inspections of pumps and compressors, and preventive maintenance when necessary.

Nagima Ayubayeva, GSFP

University of Essex, Bolashaq Scholarship

Nagima is the Project Manager in charge of green projects at the Samruk-Kazyna Invest LLP, (investment company of the Kazakhstan Wealth Fund «Samruk-Kazyna»). She is the pioneer in establishing Kazakhstan's green finance system, which helps funding projects with positive environmental and social impacts.

Social Action Award

Anna Gussarova

King’s College London, Chevening Scholarship

Anna is a Research and Programming Manager at DAI Global, USAID Central Asia Support for Stable Societies, an activity that has identified and tested new methods for the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) through VE risk reduction programming. She is also the Founder and CEO of Central Asia Institute for Strategic Studies.

Dr. Kuat Akizhanov

Manchester University; Bath University, Bolashaq Scholarship

Kuat is a political economy expert focusing on socioeconomic inequality in Kazakhstan and the Eurasian region. Kuat engages in research, public policy activities and teaching to disseminate knowledge on income and wealth disparity and its causes.

Meruyert Syzdykbekova

London School of Economics and Political Science, Bolashaq Scholarship

Meruyert is an Environment and Climate Change Specialist at the UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. She analyses how climate change impacts women and girls and provides policy and programme advice to the country offices in the region. For her work and accomplishments, she has been included in the 2021 ‘30 under 30’ Forbes Kazakhstan list.

Assem Zhapisheva

Cardiff University, Chevening Scholarship

Assem is a journalist, scriptwriter and political activist. She is a co-founder of – educational web publication on Kazakhstan's politics and Til Kespek Joq – publication and a YouTube channel in Kazakh language that covers topics state media is silent about. In 2022 The Kazakh feature film Baqyt (Happiness) directed by Askar Uzabayev entered the main competition program of the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) in the Panorama category. Assem Zhapisheva acted as the film's scriptwriter while Bayan Maksatqyzy was producer. It is a gripping story of domestic violence survivors in Kazakhstan.

This year’s judges

  • Eric Lawrie, Country Director, British Council in Kazakhstan
  • Rio Ashrafi, Head of Political & Communications Section, British Embassy Kazakhstan
  • Gulzira Amanturlina, The President of Kazakhstan Association of Social Entrepreneurs, UK Alumni Awards Winner 2017
  • Galym Baitimbetov, Founder and CEO AquaPoint LLP, UK Alumni Awards Winner 2020
  • Dana Abseitova, Endocrinologist
  • Daniyar Mukitanov, the Vice-President of the Centre for International Programmes
  • Ildar Abdulkhaimov,
  • Indira Kyilybayeva, Executive Director for Economic Planning and Analysis of Transtelecom, JSC

All eligible applicants will be put forward for the global Alumni Awards.

Award winners receive the opportunity to raise their international profile, expand their professional networks, and to enhance their careers, through a professional networking visit to the UK (subject to global Covid-19 situation).

External links