The PIEoneer Awards 2017

The inaugural PIEoneer Awards took place in London on 8th September. 250 guests from around the world celebrated the most innovative work that is being done across the international education sector.

Watch the highlights from the 2017 PIEoneer Awards celebrating innovation in international education

Gold sponsor:

Silver sponsors:

Bronze sponsors:

After party sponsor:

Winners 2017

Marketing campaign of the year

Sponsored by:

Winner:

University of Sheffield - #WeAreInternational, UK

Using video content featuring home and international students, the campaign has influenced the international student debate by celebrating their contributions to the UK’s knowledge base, economy and culture, and has lobbied the UK government to remove barriers that prevent this. It has also had significant impact overseas via US sister campaign #YouAreWelcomeHere that was inspired by #WeAreInternational.

Shortlisted finalists:

Loughborough University, UK - #LboroFamily’s Road to Rio campaign

ETS, USA - #TOEFLGrownUpMoment campaign

Study Queensland, Australia – #summerlifeqld campaign

Student support award

Sponsored by:

Winner:

Morneau Shepell, Canada - International Student Support Program (ISSP)

Developed in response to the prevalence of mental health issues and low help-seeking behaviour among international students, the ISSP provides 24/7/365, on-demand mental health support for international students via an app. Students can speak to a culturally-matched counsellor in their own language, anytime they need to. Their support has led to increased academic success and retention and an increase in help-seeking behaviour.

Shortlisted finalists:

EduNova, Canada – STAY in Nova Scotia program

International Student Admissions Service (ISAS), UK

Accommodation provider of the year

Sponsored by:

Winner:

University of Sydney, Australia

The University of Sydney demonstrated a transformational approach to service delivery and student engagement achieved via investment into new buildings, ensuring below-market rents, doubling interest-free loans, waiving deposits, increasing bursary funds for international students, embedding cultural competence into training for residential leaders and resident arrival packages/resident care program.

Shortlisted finalists:

University of Sheffield, UK

MyStay International, USA/Australia

Education agency of the year

Sponsored by:

Winner:

Global Reach, India

Global Reach has a long track record of pioneering approaches to education counselling via engagement with governments on pilot visa trials, based on compliance. It shows a commitment to improving standards in southeast Asia and has expanded into Bhutan. Organising fam trips for its staff also underlines its approach to best practice placement. A new strategy for 2016 saw a commitment to career counselling beyond education services.

Shortlisted finalists:

ESL, Switzerland

UKEAS Nigeria, Nigeria

Championing diversity award

Sponsored by:

Winner:

Institute of International Education (IIE), USA - Generation Study Abroad

IIE’s Generation Study Abroad initiative aims to double and diversify the number of US students studying abroad by 2020. It has become a national and global movement with 700+ partners worldwide. A scholarship program encourages students to go abroad who would otherwise not participate in an international experience, and partnerships with media and study abroad organisations are helping them spread their message to a broad audience. Commitment Partners all attest to a higher-than-national average participation rate in study abroad and 28% of commitment partners are engaging with the K-12 community to build the pipeline.

Shortlisted finalists:

Cambridge English Language Assessment, UK – Access to English for Refugees and Asylum Seekers initiative

International Students House, UK – ISH Scholarship Program

Australian Government Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia - New Colombo Plan

Progressive education delivery award

Sponsored by:

Winner:

Open University, UK - English in Action platform

English in Action is a technology-enabled platform that has been designed for classroom teachers in Bangladesh to help them improve on English tuition delivery and ensure communicative ability of students is enhanced. EiA uses Mediated Authentic Videos with pedagogical guidance and was funded by DFID. Materials are carried on low-cost mobile phones. EiA has been used in 227 of 490 districts in Bangladesh. Nearly 43,000 primary teachers and 3.1 million primary children have participated.

Shortlisted finalists:

Abari, Nepal and Laika Academy, Australia - Nepal Innovation Program

WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany - General Management Plus Program

International alumni of the year

Sponsored by:

Winner:

Dunya Alruhaimi, Iraq – University of New England, Armidale, Australia

Dunya came with her husband and 2 young children to study at UNE – an ESL course led to a Masters in Education (TESOL). In response to an extremist attack in Iraq, she started volunteering extensively at UNE and across the Armidale community, to help and support many students and locals, building intercultural awareness across the community. She now works as Project Officer at UNE’s International Hub and is about to start a PhD at the same institution.

Shortlisted finalists:

Aizan Sofia Amin, Malaysia – University of Glasgow, UK

Hani Choudhry, Saudi Arabia – University of Sheffield and University of Oxford, UK

Association of the year

Sponsored by:

Winner:

EduNova, Canada

EduNova works to raise the profile of Nova Scotia’s education and training expertise in Canada both nationally and internationally. Last year the association launched the STUDY and STAY in Nova Scotia program, a collaboration between post-secondary institutions and federal and provincial governments. Other initiatives include the EduNova Airport Welcome service, government funded fam tours for agencies and targeted digital media marketing for members. It has secured CAN$6.9 million in provincial and federal funding over the past 12 years.

Shortlisted finalists:

AIRC, USA

BOSSA, China

ISANA, Australia

Public / private partnership of the year

Sponsored by:

Winner:

Kaplan Open Learning/University of Essex, UK

Established in 2007, the University of Essex Online is in fact a partnership with KOL that was set up to deliver distance-learning undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Testament to the success of the operation are NSS satisfaction metrics over the last five years that outperform all other university departments and a retention rate of 80% for postgraduate programmes. Almost half of the student cohort to date has been international. A strong and adaptive approach to student support is the backbone of the partnership.

Shortlisted finalists:

Sannam S4/various HE partners, Global

CEG Digital/Falmouth University, UK

Digital innovation of the year

Sponsored by:

Winner:

Duolingo, USA – Duolingo English Test (DET)

Available on demand, from anywhere in the world, and at low cost, the DET is a secure, computer adaptive language proficiency test that is lowering the barriers of language proficiency testing and social mobility around the world. With dynamic adaptation to individuals and integrated video interview, it is helping both students and admissions teams assess students’ English level at different stages of the student journey and already used by 90 universities and institutions.

Shortlisted finalists:

Sentio, Global Education Network, USA – Global Competence Certificate (GCC)

Erasmus Student Network (ESN), Belgium – MappED!

PIEoneer of the year

Sponsored by:

Winner:

Global Leadership League, USA

The Global Leadership League is a women’s leadership development organisation specifically for the field of global education and created in response to a desire to solve “significant gender challenges” in the industry. In just over a year, GLL has had 1200 expressions of interest, hosted three sold-out events and its first webinar. It has 300 members and is committed to offering leadership skills training and mentoring.

Shortlisted finalists:

Malaysian Qualifications Agency, Malaysia

International Alumni Job Network (IAJN), Hong Kong/Vietnam

Outstanding contribution to the industry

Sponsored by:

Winner:

Markus Badde - CEO, ICEF, Germany

Markus’s aim has been to create a legacy of professionalism in international student recruitment. Taking over the running of ICEF from his father, ICEF is now the world leader in international education networking events. Markus has started successful initiatives such as ICEF Monitor and ICEF agent training, to add to the events and workshops that are the foundation behind the ICEF name. He has been a driving force behind the scenes supporting associations that advocate for positive change in international education - he was a founding member of AIRC in the US.

Shortlisted finalists:

Jonathan Kolber - President, ILAC, Canada

Antonio Anadon - President, Ideal Education Group, Spain and Latin America

The PIEoneer Awards are supported by:

“This is a wonderful idea and we certainly see PIE playing a very pivotal role in the industry and the award function is a fantastic approach of not only creating a platform but bringing everyone together.”
Natasha Chopra, The Chopras, India

Meet our Judging Panel

Helen Zimmerman – Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Navitas

Helen Zimmerman has worked in leadership roles in Australian public and private education for over 35 years. For the last 12 years she has held operational and corporate roles with Navitas Ltd, an ...

Helen Zimmerman has worked in leadership roles in Australian public and private education for over 35 years. For the last 12 years she has held operational and corporate roles with Navitas Ltd, an Australian top 100 Company and global education provider. Prior to joining Navitas she was Managing Director of the ACL Group of companies, the largest private provider of English language education in Australia.

Helen has served on the boards of a number of peak professional education associations and regulatory bodies. She is a former President of the International Education Association of Australia and a current member of the Victorian International Education Ministerial Advisory Roundtable and of the NSW International Education Advisory Board.

Helen is the Chair of the Australian Business and Community Network and a member of the Jobs for NSW Board. She is also a member of the NSW State Advisor Council of CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia) and an Honorary Senior Fellow of the LH Martin Institute of the University of Melbourne.

In 2000 Helen won the Private Sector Award for the Telstra NSW Businesswoman of the Year. In 2010 she was one of five national finalists for the award of Leading CEO for the Advancement of Women.

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Samuel Vetrak – Founder and CEO, StudentMarketing

Samuel Vetrak is the founder and CEO of StudentMarketing, a global market and investment intelligence company specializing in international student sector.

The company, a United Nations Worl...

Samuel Vetrak is the founder and CEO of StudentMarketing, a global market and investment intelligence company specializing in international student sector.

The company, a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Affiliate Member, with individual memberships in the prestigious international research association ESOMAR, provides comprehensive insights on global student mobility patterns and market trends, and helps investors, associations, institutions, governments, destinations and other stakeholders to succeed in the market (strategies, policies, solutions)

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Randall Martin – Executive Director, BCCIE, Canada

Dr. Randall Martin has experience spanning more than 25 years in post-secondary education, development education and International Education, including development work as well as more than 15 year...

Dr. Randall Martin has experience spanning more than 25 years in post-secondary education, development education and International Education, including development work as well as more than 15 years supporting the internationalization efforts of Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver. He began his professional career teaching in the college sector, then moved to a university development project in Eastern and Central Indonesia, after which he returned to Canada mandated to design, build and implement international and international student programming for SFU. He assumed leadership of BCCIE in 2006. Dr. Martin has an earned doctorate in International Education and is an acknowledged presenter, speaker and mentor in the field.

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Brett Berquist – Director International, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Brett Berquist has over 25 years’ experience in the sector, in Europe, the US, and Asia, as academic staff and administrator leading international ...

Brett Berquist has over 25 years’ experience in the sector, in Europe, the US, and Asia, as academic staff and administrator leading international recruitment strategy, transnational education, ESL provision, campus-wide internationalisation strategy, and credit mobility. Prior to becoming Director International at the University of Auckland since 2015, he held senior roles in the sector in Michigan and France. He holds French and US passports and degrees in music, French, and linguistics.

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Dr Sonal Minocha - Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at Bournemouth University, UK

Dr Sonal Minocha arrived in the UK as an international student from India and transitioned into a...

Dr Sonal Minocha arrived in the UK as an international student from India and transitioned into an academic career starting at Northumbria University in Newcastle, U.K. before joining Raffles Education in Singapore setting up and developing a number of sites across Australasia including the establishment of the first foreign private university in Mongolia. She then returned to the UK, and has since held various senior academic management roles at several other UK Universities including Sunderland, Anglia Ruskin and Bedfordshire.

Sonal has more than 10 years' experience of higher education across public and private sectors in a global context in various senior leadership roles. She is a widely published author with over 50 publications to her credit including books, chapters in books, journal articles, think pieces, refereed conference papers and so forth.

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Victor Hugo Baseggio – Co-CEO and Co-Founder, CI, Brazil

Victor Hugo graduated as a civil engineer and holds an MBA degree in finance. After his graduation he spent three years in Europe to enhance his education. He experienced a few exchange and language ...

Victor Hugo graduated as a civil engineer and holds an MBA degree in finance. After his graduation he spent three years in Europe to enhance his education. He experienced a few exchange and language programmes in various countries.

After co-founding CI in 1988 with focus on quality services, the company has become Brazil's largest educational agent with more than 600 people directly involved in its activities.

Today CI is clearly positioned as an omni channel company. Its digital marketing with a remarkable performance in social media powers its network of more than 100 stores in Brazil and overseas, its telesales and its e-commerce activities.

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Bei Guo – Deputy General Manager, EIC Consulting, China

Bei Guo joined EIC in April 2014 as the Deputy General Manager of EIC Consulting. Ms Guo has 12 years of overseas studying experience, and obtained her bachelor degree from the University of Tokyo ...

Bei Guo joined EIC in April 2014 as the Deputy General Manager of EIC Consulting. Ms Guo has 12 years of overseas studying experience, and obtained her bachelor degree from the University of Tokyo and MBA from Harvard Business School. She worked for world renowned professional service institutions including Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and McKinsey before joining EIC.Besides her academic achievement and career, she is also active in social works and was awarded the “Rising Talent” by Women’s Forum in 2014.

EIC is China's number one overseas educational counselling service provider, with 16% national market share, and number five test preparation tutoring provider, with 6% market share. The business was founded in 2000, and today counselling is present in 22 cities, with a number one position in eight cities and top three position in 18 cities, including a number one position in three of the top markets in China: Guangzhou (49% share), Shenzhen (33% share), Shanghai (13% share). EIC has grown rapidly, with EBIT CAGR of 60% over 2011-2013, driven by both student volume and ASP growth.

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Douglas Proctor - Director of International Affairs, University College Dublin, Ireland

Douglas Proctor is Director of International Affairs at University College Dublin, where he has m...

Douglas Proctor is Director of International Affairs at University College Dublin, where he has management responsibility for the international office and provides leadership to the broader university community on internationalisation, international engagement and international partnerships. Having recently completed a PhD in international higher education at the University of Melbourne, Douglas serves as a member of the AIEA Editorial Committee (USA) and is a Member of the Register of Experts for the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) in Australia. Douglas is also co-editing a book for Routledge (due out in early 2018) offering new perspectives on the future agenda for internationalisation in higher education.

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Jan Capper – Chief Executive, CUBO

Jan Capper is the new Chief Executive of CUBO, the professional association for senior managers in UK higher education with responsibility for an institution’s commercial success. Prior to this rol...

Jan Capper is the new Chief Executive of CUBO, the professional association for senior managers in UK higher education with responsibility for an institution’s commercial success. Prior to this role which she took up in 2017, Jan was Executive Director of the International Association of Language Centres, an association of independent and mostly owner-operated language schools in over 20 countries worldwide. Jan has over 20 years of experience working with issues around quality and regulation, access to market and business needs of language schools, and now adds commercial strategy at HE level to her knowledge base.

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Jean-Marc Alberola - President, Bridge Education Group, USA

Jean-Marc Alberola is President of Bridge Education Group, a comprehensive provider of language and education services including corporate language training, teacher training, university pathway pr...

Jean-Marc Alberola is President of Bridge Education Group, a comprehensive provider of language and education services including corporate language training, teacher training, university pathway programs and international student recruitment. Jean-Marc started his language industry career with Telelangue Systems in Washington, D.C., before venturing on to Brazil, Chile and Argentina to launch Linguatec Language Centers. After 12 years in South America Jean-Marc returned to the U.S. to head up Bridge Education Group.

Jean-Marc has over 25 years’ experience in language and education abroad and is a regular presenter at AIEA, NAFSA, AIRC, IALC, and ICEF events. Jean-Marc holds a BA in Economics from the University of Vermont.

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Natasha Chopra – Managing Director, The Chopras, India

Natasha Chopra is Managing Director at The Chopras, India’s largest higher education business that has been fundamental in bringing global education & career development to the forefront of Indian ...

Natasha Chopra is Managing Director at The Chopras, India’s largest higher education business that has been fundamental in bringing global education & career development to the forefront of Indian students and parents. The company was set up in 1995 after Mr. and Mrs. Chopra saw India’s future potential being limited with Indian students and parents only considering a narrow frame of careers and areas of study to progress towards.

Educated in the UK with a degree in economics from the University of Essex and an MBA from Lancaster University, Natasha commenced her career as a financial analyst, then moved into management consultancy working on assignments with some of London’s most prestigious merchant banks. She has also worked in the US, Netherlands and Australia.

As MD of the firm, Natasha has played a fundamental role in leading and developing the international relations of the business. With strong relationships with over 600 universities across four continents, The Chopras have helped more than 150,000 students pursue higher education in more than 38 countries globally. Every year more than 300,000 students engage with The Chopras.

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David DiMaria – Associate Provost International Programs, Montana State University, USA

David DiMaria is associate provost for international programs at Montana State University, where ...

David DiMaria is associate provost for international programs at Montana State University, where he is responsible for advancing the international dimensions of learning, discovery and engagement. He regularly presents, publishes and consults on best practices pertaining to international education administration. Di Maria is a recipient of NAFSA Region VI’s Advocacy Award, past-chair of NAFSA's International Enrollment Management Knowledge Community and president of the American International Recruitment Council. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. His dissertation focused on campus services for international students.

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Safi Sabuni – President, Erasmus Student Network (ESN)

Safi Sabuni is the President of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), one of Europe’s biggest network of student organisations. ESN exists in 40 countries, at 1000 campuses around Europe and represent...

Safi Sabuni is the President of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), one of Europe’s biggest network of student organisations. ESN exists in 40 countries, at 1000 campuses around Europe and represents 200.000 students every year. As President, Safi is in charge of institutional representation, research and advocacy related activities and the implementation of EU-funded projects. Safi has been President of the network since 2015. Safi has a Social Science background, having graduated from the Linnaeus University in Sweden with a degree in Communication and Development Studies. She has been working in the field of student affairs for the past 7 years.

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Nimesh Patel – Foundation Development Manager, The Class of 2020

Nimesh has been active in student mobility for over 10 years, which started with his love for travel whilst being a student himself. He was first introduced to the global youth and student travel...

Nimesh has been active in student mobility for over 10 years, which started with his love for travel whilst being a student himself. He was first introduced to the global youth and student travel sector whilst volunteering for The World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC). Nimesh went on to manage various marketing and digital communication projects for youth travel organisations at Umi Digital. He later returned to the non-profit sector as Association Manager for STAY WYSE and STUDY WYSE. STAY WYSE advocated the development and safety standard for global youth travel accommodation and STUDY WYSE the development of international study and language travel. In 2015 Nimesh joined The Class of 2020 Foundation as Foundation Development Manager, supporting the overall development of the foundation. The Class of 2020 is the leading platform/think tank on European student living.

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Troy Peden – Founder, GoAbroad.com, USA

Troy Peden is the founder of GoAbroad.com, the first website devoted to meaningful travel opportunities. GoAbroad.com was founded in 1997 when Troy was the Study Abroad Advisor at the University of...

Troy Peden is the founder of GoAbroad.com, the first website devoted to meaningful travel opportunities. GoAbroad.com was founded in 1997 when Troy was the Study Abroad Advisor at the University of Colorado at Denver. Troy has volunteered, worked and studied around the globe. Today he lives with his wife and five children in the mountains of Colorado and works closely with the GoAbroad Foundation and their support of sustainable community projects in the developing world.

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The PIEoneer Awards 2018

Details of The PIEoneer Awards 2018 will be released later this year. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Jane on jane@thepienews.com or +44 208 135 5178.

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