Special guests and finalists of the Study UK Alumni Awards 2022–23 at the Ceremony in Astana, Kazakhstan
Special guests and finalists of the Study UK Alumni Awards 2022–23 at the Ceremony in Astana, Kazakhstan

Celebrating the achievements of alumni in Kazakhstan

On 28 February 2023, the British Council in Kazakhstan announced the winners and finalists at its 5th Study UK Alumni Awards Ceremony at the Residence of His Majesty’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan Kathy Leach.

The event was attended by a number of high level guests, including Baroness Emma Nicholson, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Kazakhstan; and His Excellency Sayasat Nurbek, Minister of Science and Higher Education; as well as AIFC Governor Mr Renat Bekturov, Global Winner Study UK Alumni Awards 2022; Director of the British Council in Kazakhstan, Eric Lawrie; and chairmen of organisations supporting alumni of governmental scholarships: Mr Olzhas Sakenov, Chairman of the Centre for International Programmes which funds the Bolashak scholarships, and Mr Daniyar Mukitanov, the Chairman of the Chevening Alumni Association in Kazakhstan.

The British Council marked the ninth year of this prestigious award, celebrating the outstanding achievements of the UK’s international alumni around the world and holding ceremonies in 18 countries.

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.

This year, the awards were 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 were 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 and finance.
  • Special Ambassador’s Award – To be presented in Kazakhstan instead of the Culture and Creativity Award to recognise alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional field and who can demonstrate the impact and scale of their achievements in their profession and beyond.


In Kazakhstan all the finalists received a certificate and the winner in each category also received a trophy and a prize of up to £2,000 for a professional development opportunity of their choice.

The benefits of winning a prestigious Alumni Award also include the opportunity to:

  • raise your international profile through global press and digital coverage
  • build your professional networks and business connections
  • win a professional networking visit to the UK if chosen to be one of four global winners.

Meet the Study UK Alumni Awards 2022–23 winners and judges in Kazakhstan

Science and Sustainability Award

Winner: Diyaz Baiseitov | University of Warwick, Bolashak Scholarship

For the last 12 years, Diyaz has worked in the field of green technologies. He founded a start-up to produce solar collectors, which ranks as the second most innovative company in Kazakhstan. Since 2021, he has served as Executive Director of the Kazakh Green Building Council (KazGBC), which promotes sustainable buildings. He is currently country manager of the international fund PFAN (UNIDO) in the field of renewable energy.

Finalist: Shynar Aldazhumanova | University of Essex, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Bolashak Scholarship

Shynar successfully led the setting up and launch of the AIFC Green Finance Centre, a regional think tank for sustainable finance, and has also been involved in the development of the green finance market in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Shynar is currently studying for a PhD in Business Management and is researching sustainable business strategies for the development and transformation of organisations based on international experiences.

Finalist: Rashida Mukhanzhanova | University of Manchester, Bolashak Scholarship

Rashida is a chemical/process engineer working on various optimisation projects in Kashagan, one of the world’s largest and most complex oil and gas facilities. She helped create the company’s graduate programme, which links industry and universities to create a talent pool. She is currently involved in projects to develop concepts for expanding gas fields to address future gas shortages in Kazakhstan.

Social Action Award

Winner: Nazgul Yergaliyeva | University College London, Chevening Scholarship

Nazgul is an independent consultant on public policy and criminal justice with more than twenty years’ experience of working on human rights and criminal justice reform issues in Central Asia. Nazgul conducted the first research on torture during interrogation and the measurement of the levels of public victimisation for various types of crime. Two of the initiatives designed by Nazgul won the national award for the best government project in 2020–22.

Finalist: Dina Chuteneva | London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Dina works as a Senior Consultant at KPMG on macroeconomic and public policy projects, addressing such issues as the Aral Sea disaster in Uzbekistan and identifying the factors contributing to food inflation in Kazakhstan. In addition to her work at KPMG, Dina runs a mentorship project called ProAct, supporting disadvantaged youth in Central Asia.

Finalist: Zhazira Bekzhanova | Lancaster University, Bolashak Scholarship

Zhazira is an Associate Professor at Zhubanov University (Aktobe, Kazakhstan) and a Principal Researcher on gender equality in the school curriculum, a project of the Political Economy of Education Research (PEER) Network and Ulster University (Northern Ireland, UK). Her research aims to reduce gender discrimination and social inequality in Kazakh education.

Business and Innovation Award

Winner: Aliya Sembayeva | University of Birmingham, University of Liverpool

Aliya launched a community of PhD experts from Kazakhstan studying in the UK to share their research expertise in science, business and government for the sustainable development of countries in the Central Asian region. At the Samruk-Kazyna Fund, she served as the first CEO of the Center for Scientific and Technological Initiatives to develop applied science in Kazakhstan.

Finalist: Akylbek Kussainov | University of Aberdeen, Bolashak Scholarship

Akylbek has worked in the field of legal services for over ten years and is currently a Partner at Zan Hub. He co-chairs and participates in various working groups and councils, and has contributed to more than 50 amendments to existing laws aimed at reducing trade barriers in Kazakhstan and improving the investment climate. He is a member of the Legal Services Board at AIFC.

Finalist: Anar Turysbekova | University of Warwick, Bolashak Scholarship

Anar worked for Alstom as a lean engineer while also teaching at the university, which allowed her to combine theory and practice. She is Co-Founder and CEO of DOS, an optical company based on the principles of lean manufacturing. The company has a chain of 15 optical stores and more than 100 employees across Kazakhstan.

Special Ambassador’s Award

Winner: Indira Kyilybaeva | University College London, Chevening Scholarship

Indira has 15 years’ experience of working in consulting, private companies and the quasi-public sector. She is a Certified Financial Analyst (CFA holder). She currently works as Executive Director of Economic Planning and Analysis in a telecoms company. As an active promoter of financial literacy, she co-authors and co-hosts the FOMOdoma podcast, and serves as a mentor on the Smart Investor course in the Finmentor.kz project.

Finalist: Anar Dombayeva | Heriot-Watt University, Bolashak Scholarship

Anar is inspired by innovative technologies designed to make the energy sector sustainable and ‘greener’. She has created a technology that has no analogues in the world, which allows for the complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions in well clean-up operations. Anar’s next goal is to continue her studies in the UK by applying for an MBA, which will enable her to advance women’s leadership in engineering, especially in the energy industry.

Finalist: Aigerim Seitenova | University of Essex, Chevening Scholarship

Aigerim Seitenova is a human rights and gender specialist with five years’ experience in civil society with a particular focus on human rights and peace education, youth empowerment and nuclear disarmament. In the summer of 2022, Aigerim was listed in the annual ‘Forbes 30 Under 30’ Kazakhstan list for her valuable contribution to youth empowerment and the nuclear disarmament movement.

This year’s judges

  • Daniyar Mukitanov, Director of the Academy of Political Management, AMANAT
  • Aliya Kaimoldinova, Head, Global Relations Nazarbayev University
  • Mukhit Kulmaganbetov, Winner in Science and Sustainability, Study UK Alumni Awards 2022
  • Dana Abseitova, Endocrinologist, Chevening Alumna
  • Galym Baitimbetov, Founder and CEO of AquaPoint LLP, Study UK Alumni Awards Winner 2020
  • Daniyar Suleimenov, Independent financial advisor, Chevening Alumna

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.

For more information, please visit study-uk.britishcouncil.org/after-your-studies/alumni-awards.

External links