Swansea students shine in British Council’s International Student Awards 2010
Jing Xu and Pavan Kumar Sriram have been named ‘runners-up’ in the regional finals of the eighth annual International Student Awards – a major initiative from the British Council that shines the spotlight on international students and their contributions to life in the UK.
The ‘runners-up’ will each receive their £100 prize and a commemorative certificate at the national awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 21 April 2010.
To enter the competition, Jing and Pavan wrote a ‘personal letter home’ detailing the achievements that had helped each of them make their time in the UK so rewarding. Their inspirational accounts, of student life in Swansea, were short-listed by the panel of judges who reviewed more than 1,300 ‘personal letters’ sent to 121 ‘home’ countries.
Jing Xu studied completed his Master’s Degree in Law at Cardiff University before choosing to study for a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at Swansea University’s School of Law and, subsequently, taking the Legal Practice Course (LPC). In addition to his academic studies, Jing has enjoyed a wide range of out-of-class activities at Swansea, including working as Marketing Officer for the University’s Free Legal Advice (Pro Bono) Clinic.
Speaking ahead of the awards ceremony, Jing said: "Swansea University’s School of Law is one of a select number to offer the Graduate Diploma in Law course and, since enrolling, I have found it is simply the most student-focused institution; offering a full-range of support services to help with learning and achieving.
"Through the British Council’s competition, I am pleased to have had the opportunity to share with prospective students the joys of living and studying here."
Erasmus Mundus student, Pavan Kumar Sriram, started his Master of Science in Computational Mechanics in 2008 at Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya in Spain before moving, in January 2009, to continue his studies at Swansea University’s School of Engineering.
Originally from Bangalore in India, Pavan commented: "I selected Swansea University as the Civil and Computational Engineering Department is recognised as one of the top three in the UK.
"Studying and living here has been the experience of a lifetime and, today, I feel that there is no limit to my dreams. The experience has transformed me into an extremely social savvy person. Packed with fun, travel and excitement, there has never been a moment of suffering from sophomore slump or general boredom. I have discovered strengths and abilities to conquer new challenges and solve new problems. I’ve also reconsidered my own beliefs and values. The experience has made me more mature and I now have a different perspective of the world.
"Winning the award has given me immense confidence and a drive to achieve more and dream even higher."
Pavan was short-listed for his outstanding ‘letter home’ which, inspired by his study experience in Wales and active role within the Students Union, was commended by the judges for showing Pavan had ‘been making the most of his time in the UK’.
This is the third year that Swansea University’s international students, who come to the UK for high quality education, new challenges and experiences, have been given public recognition for their extra-curricular achievements.
In 2008 Business and Economics student, Shilin Wang, was named regional winner, Media and Communications student, Yin Qian, was named regional ‘runner-up’ and Richard Nyuur, from Ghana, was highly commended for his inspiring. In following year, a ‘personal letter home’ from Akash Sehdev, one of the University’s Law and Business Studies students, was named one of Wales’s best.
Professor Iwan Davies, Swansea University’s Pro Vice Chancellor for Internationalisation and External Affairs, concluded: "Swansea University is committed to offering students - from the UK, Europe and further afield – high quality opportunities for academic research and learning and, at the same time, one of the best student experiences in the world.
"In return, the University is proud of the huge commitment that individual students make to enjoying new experiences and challenges while studying in Swansea and of the valued contribution that international students make to life in Wales and to the rest of the world."