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Warwick students 'Shine' at International Student Awards

shineFor the fourth year running, students from University of Warwick have been awarded the top accolades in the British Council's 'Shine International Student of the Year' Awards regional finals.

Indian student Divesh Hiranandani has been named the West Midlands‘s 'International Student of the Year 2011' and Canadian student, Evan Watts, was a regional runner up in the competition.

Divesh and Evan were up against more than 1,200 students, from 118 countries, in the Shine awards which are a major initiative from the British Council that shines the spotlight on international students and their contributions to life in the UK.

To enter, each student was asked to write a personal ‘letter home’ in English, detailing the out-of-class achievements that help make their time in the UK so rewarding.

Regional winner Divesh, studying Business and Mathematics, is determined to make the most of the Warwick experience. Not only does he work in a series of jobs across campus, he also fundraises (he has raised in excess of £10,000, and is currently fundraising to promote child literacy in Africa through READ International); has his own radio show on Warwick RaW; takes part in student societies as well as helping prospective students during Open Days and Campus Tours and also helped with the success of the One World Week celebrations.

Runner up, Evan, is a student at the Warwick Medical School, training to be a doctor. Evan has excelled in his course, winning a Summer Pathology Scholarship in his first year, merit for academic performance in his second year, and first prize for the best medical case report at a national conference in his current year. He has also been elected a Representative for the students within the Medical School, and he is truly enthusiastic about the additional responsibilities that this role brings.

Outside of his department, he plays a key role in the student community, helping to educate local schools and young adults the issues of sexual health. Evan also volunteers at the Royal College of Pathologists. In his spare time, he makes the most of studying in the UK by playing in the University’s Ice Hockey Team, fundraising for men’s cancer charities, publishing a new medical education magazine and travelling around the UK.

Divesh, is now preparing to challenge for the title of overall International Student of the Year 2011. As one of 12 regional winners he will travel to London on April 13 to meet a final judging panel, before going on to have their extraordinary achievements honoured in a national awards ceremony.

Divesh said of his experiences at Warwick: “Studying at Warwick has been a life changing and humbling experience. The cosmopolitan atmosphere empowers you to believe that you can make a difference and have a good time while you’re at it.”

James Kennedy, Director of Warwick’s International Office said: “Each year, we are astounded by the achievements of our students. The University of Warwick is international because of our students and the affect that they have on our campus. Divesh and Evan are two outstanding students who have excelled during their studies at Warwick. It brings us great pleasure to see our students rewarded by the British Council through this competition.”

Martin Davidson Chief Executive of the British Council, said the letters home written by the entrants were both poignant and inspiring '“The students have immersed themselves in life in the UK and are making a huge contribution not just to their campuses but to the wider community. The British Council is delighted to recognise their considerable achievements.”


For further information contact:

Kate Cox
Communications Manager, Warwick Medical School
University of Warwick
t: +44 (0)2476 574255/150483
m: +44 (0)7920 531221

Notes to Editors

  • The International Student Awards are open to international students studying full-time at UK universities, colleges, English language schools and boarding schools, on courses lasting six months or more.
  • Entrants are grouped into regions - North West, Yorkshire, North East, West Midlands, East Midlands, East of England, South West, London, South East, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
  • Major international figures that have studied in the UK include former US president Bill Clinton, former Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi, sculptor Anish Kapoor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, fashion designer Rifat Ozbek, authors Jung Chang and Vikram Seth, and Malaysian-born shoe designer Jimmy Choo.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. It works in over 100 countries worldwide to build opportunity and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. It works in the Arts, English, Education and Society, including science and sport - and in the process contribute to the security and prosperity of the UK and the countries where it works. For more information, please visit: