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2017’s PIEoneer Award winners span seven countries

Student support, championing diversity and digital innovation were among the fields celebrated at the international education industry’s first ever PIEoneer Awards on Friday September 8.

Winners of The PIEoneer Awards with their trophies.Winners of the first ever PIEoneer Awards gathered after accepting their trophies. Photo: The PIE News

"This is such a great acknowledgement of what we stand for"

Winners represented seven countries and included major campaigns #WeareInternational, a huge success from the UK’s University of Sheffield (Marketing Campaign of the Year) and Generation Study Abroad, a campaign to widen access to study abroad in the USA from IIE (Championing Diversity).

All the finalists were delighted to receive the award and the accolade from a distinguished panel of international judges in front of a global peer group.

The PIEoneer Awards 2017 winners

  • Marketing campaign of the year: University of Sheffield, UK – #WeAreInternational
  • Student support award: Morneau Shepell – International Student Support Program, Canada
  • Accommodation provider of the year: University of Sydney, Australia
  • Education agency of the year: Global Reach, India
  • Championing diversity award: Institute of International Education, USA – Generation Study Abroad
  • Progressive education delivery award: Open University, UK – English in Action platform
  • International alumni of the year: Dunya Alruhaimi, Iraq – University of New England, Armidale, Australia
  • Association of the year: EduNova, Canada
  • Public/private partnership of the year: Kaplan Open Learning/University of Essex, UK
  • Digital innovation of the year: Duolingo, USA – Duolingo English Test
  • PIEoneer of the year: Global Leadership League, USA
  • Outstanding contribution to the industry: Markus Badde, ICEF, Germany

Wendy Luther of EduNova, representing Nova Scotia’s international education sector in Canada, said it was a career highlight to have the efforts of the association recognised.

Ravi Lochan Singh, MD of Global Reach agency in India, said that his company’s success as Education Agency of the Year, on their 26th anniversary “is such a great acknowledgement for what we stand for”.

MD of The PIE, Amy Baker, said she was thrilled with feedback on the company’s inaugural event. “I’m thrilled that so many finalists made the effort to be in London for our awards and delighted that we could help shine a spotlight on some of the amazing work that goes on each year within international education.”

Twelve awards were given in total, including PIEoneer of the year, which was awarded to a women’s leadership movement based out of the USA but with global scope, the Global Leadership League.

In GLL’s entry, co-founder Cynthia Banks explained that GLL aimed to counter “data.. that women are promoted less often due to hiring bias and also due to deficiency in strategic skillsets.”

The most prestigious award of the evening was for outstanding contribution to the industry, awarded to CEO of ICEF, Markus Badde.

His comments drew a standing ovation from one table, as he reflected on a life’s work trying to build connections between education agencies and educators; by default, helping thousands of students to study abroad as his company developed events and agency training schemes.

He spoke of his German and Australian heritage, growing up in the Middle East and Europe, speaking eight languages. Rather than being “from nowhere”, international students are “ambassadors of everywhere” and help foster global links, he said.

After all the awards were presented, the party continued across town with an afterparty at the world famous ‘Gherkin’ (official name, 30 St Mary Axe) in the heart of London’s financial district.

There, with a 360-degree view of London, 250 guests danced the night away in celebration of the sector’s achievements.

To find out more about our winners, visit here.


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