2018 PIEoneer Award winners revealed at London gala

IES Abroad’s Dr Mary M. Dwyer headlined the winners of the second annual PIEoneer Awards, celebrating global achievement in international education at 8 Northumberland Avenue in the centre of London on 7 September.

“What is most impressive about this nomination is the many successes of others due to the actions of that individual”

The event, which attracted 350 attendees from around the world, saw winners from ten regions and countries recognised for their achievements in areas including championing diversity (Global Leader Experience Abroad), increasing access to education (Daughter’s for Life) and digital innovation (Study Portals).

The PIEoneer Awards 2018 winners

Marketing campaign of the year: Education New Zealand – 1 million cents scholarships
Student support award: Monash University – English Connect, Australia
Accommodation provider of the year: International Students House, UK
Education agency of the year: Mapmystudy by PAC Asia, India
Championing diversity award: Common Purpose, UK – Global Leader Experience Abroad
Progressive education delivery award: University of South Carolina/Shorelight, USA – International Career Accelerator
International alumni of the year: Tie
Liu Daming, China – NCUK International Foundation Year, UK
Tripti Maheshwari, India – Lancaster University, Cass Business School, UK
Association of the year: Eaquals, Europe
Public/private partnership of the year: UNSW/Ministry of Science and Technology, Australia/China – Torch Innovation Precinct at UNSW
Digital innovation of the year – Learning: The Open University, UK – The Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa Massive Open Online Course on FutureLearn
Digital innovation of the year – Technology: StudyPortals, Netherlands – StudyPortals BestFit
Language educator of the year: Malaca Instituto, Spain
Real life learning award: Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – IT for Social Impact India project
PIEoneer of the year: Daughters For Life Foundation, Canada
Outstanding contribution to the industry: Dr Mary M. Dwyer, IES Abroad, USA

Attracting over 200 nominations, and winners from more than 20 countries, the 2018 PIEoneers saw an exponential increase in interest from stakeholders in international education and solidified its position as the premier international education awards.

“It’s really important that we continue all to really commit ourselves to diversifying our student bodies”

Amy Baker, The PIE’s managing director, said she was delighted by the response to the PIEoneers, which grew to fifteen categories for the 2018 event.

In a surprise twist, the international alumni award was shared by two graduates from UK institutions.

Liu Daming, an award-winning author who became the first Chinese student in a wheelchair to study in the UK, was recognised for his inspiring story.

“Inspiring story of a young man who followed his dreams in spite of many obstacles,” said one judge.

Co-founder of Student Circus, an online platform to connect international graduates with Tier-2 employers, India’s Tripti Maheshwari also received alumni of the year for her work in the employability space.

“What is most impressive about this nomination is not the success of one individual, but many successes of others due to the actions of that individual,” said the PIEoneer judges.

Winner of the event’s namesake award, the 2018 PIEoneer of the Year was charity organisation Daughters for Life, which works to increase access to overseas education for women in the Middle East.

Established by Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish in honour of his daughters and niece who were killed in an Israeli tank strike, DfL aims to bring peace to the Middle East through education and has helped almost 400 women study abroad.

Mary Dwyer was in London to collect her award for Outstanding Contribution to the industry. Photo: Roger Harris Photography

Outstanding contribution to the industry winner Dr Mary M. Dwyer used her speech to promote the importance of outbound education in an increasingly volatile political climate.

Dwyer, who has overseen a sixfold increase in the number of students sent abroad by her organisation IES Abroad, added there were significant benefits to be had in ensuring overseas experiences were open to all students, regardless of background.

“I think in today’s political context, it’s particularly hard to deliver challenging, meaningful study abroad experience for students,” she said.

“We spend a lot of time, and energy, and resources on helping students from underrepresented [groups]. I think it’s really important that we continue all to really commit ourselves to diversifying our student bodies because everyone benefits from that.”

The after-party, held downstairs at 8 Northumberland Avenue, saw the winners and those shortlisted celebrate their achievements with industry representatives well into the small hours of morning.

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