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Stephenie named International Student of the Year 2008

24 Apr 2008

Stephenie Siew Jean Tiew from the University of Manchester has been named International Student of the Year 2008. The 24-year-old medical student from Malaysia claimed her title in the UK final of the prestigious competition last night (Wednesday, April 23).

Stephenie is the International Student of the Year
Stephenie is the International Student of the Year

Stephenie was one of 12 regional winners who gathered in London to meet a final judging panel.

University of Manchester students Garth Philippe and Deepa Ramduny were both named runners-up in the regional finals. Garth, from the Bahamas, is studying Law and Deepa is a Mauritian student studying Science and Neuroscience.

More than 1,500 students, representing 127 nationalities, entered the sixth annual International Student Awards – a major initiative from the British Council that aims to shine the spotlight firmly on international students and their contributions to life in the UK.

In a bid to take home the £3000 first prize, students shared stories about their extra-curricular achievements that illustrate how they are making the most of their time in the UK. 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.

In addition to having a part-time job, Stephenie has won a Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) Student Prize. She has also participated in a regional debating tournament and been involved in “Save a Baby's Life Society”.

Stephenie said: “I feel truly blessed to be the recipient of this prestigious award. I am grateful to the British Council for acknowledging what I have enjoyed doing as an undergraduate at the University of Manchester. This award has motivated me to continue to strive for the highest level of personal excellence in every area of my life.”

Dr Tim Westlake, Director of Student Recruitment, Admissions and International Development at Manchester said: "Stephenie’s achievements are outstanding and demonstrate the valuable contribution the international student community makes to the North West region. The University of Manchester is proud of the role international students play both on campus and in the wider community."

Martin Davidson, Chief Executive of the British Council, said: “The British Council knows that international students make a huge contribution and commitment to life in the UK. This competition provides a fantastic opportunity for them to earn some well-deserved public recognition for their achievements – a great chance for them to show the world what they’ve achieved while living and learning in the UK.”

Notes for editors

Contact details

Jon Keighren, Media Relations Manager, The University of Manchester 0161 275 8384

Fran Halliwell, Senior International Officer, The University of Manchester 0161 275 8264

Additional information

There are currently 443,255 international students studying in higher and further education in UK. More than 16,770 international students entered UK independent schools in 2005-6, while an estimated 600,000 international students come to the UK to learn English every year, on a wide variety of courses. The most recent estimate of the economic contribution of international students to the UK is £12.5 billion per year.

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.