2019 Winners

Accommodation provider of the year

Monash University, Australia - Monash Residential Services

Entry summary

Monash Residential Services impressed our PIEoneer judges, who praised it for its emphasis on intercultural competence, as well as its services geared towards mental health and safe living. Other initiatives include the compulsory DrinkSmart and Respect@Monash programs to help students understand community expectations and prepare for university life, as well as free swim lessons for all international students, to ensure they can be safe on Australia’s beaches.

Association of the year

Universities UK International, UK

Entry summary

The campaigning work of Universities UK International crystallised into the success of two year post-study work rights being introduced in September 2019. The association’s work in advocating for UK higher education to continue to remain globally focused has seen members call it a “lifeline” for international research and professional development. Other achievements include trade delegations to many countries, it focus on discussions with European counterparts to continue research and education programs, and lobbying for Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+. 

Championing diversity award

International Houses Worldwide Group, UK - International Houses Worldwide Scholarship Programme

Entry summary

The International Houses Worldwide Scholarship Programme was initiated with the aim of enabling deserving students from underprivileged, low-income origins to travel to the UK, USA or Australia. A consortium of 17 independent, non-profit accommodation providers in 4 continents make up the International Houses Worldwide group - they provide free accommodation and in some cases, food bursaries, to international students. As one scholarship recipient in the UK testified, “this had a profound impact on my MA results. I graduated with first class honours and I truly believe the positive environment in which I lived played a crucial part for that to be possible.”

Digital innovation of the year - learning

Medical School Application Guide, UK - theMSAG Online Medical School Interview Course

Entry summary

The Medical School Application Guide is one of the only online methods available for international students to learn about the UK’s medical school interview system. Simple and cost-effective, the online program allows students to learn at their own pace, with an adaptive teaching method. Our judges called the program thoughtful and conscious in its effort.

Digital innovation of the year - technology

Fintiba, Germany

Entry summary

Fintiba provides a simple solution to a complex problem for international students looking to study in Germany. Automating the process of securing a blocked account, which ensures their tuition funds are secured, the app is making substantial headway for providers and students. Our judges called it a brilliant solution with a strong positive impact on international students.

Education agency of the year

IDP Education, Global

Entry summary

An overwhelming favourite with our judges, global agency IDP Education demonstrated how it has pivoted to respond to digital natives, launching new data-driven content services online. Showcasing stories that resonate with students via Content Hubs delivered with new division IDP Connect, the company has seen far greater early stage engagement and a 37% increase overall in student placement leads. 13 new offices were also established in key growth markets in 2018, and IDP counselled almost 40,000 students in the same year across its 120 offices.

International alumni of the year

Azzen Abidi, Tunisia

Entry summary

Azzen Abidi has taken it upon himself to bring a global education experience to as many people as possible. As well as developing an online platform, Abidi has been a tireless advocate for people with disabilities in his community. Our judges said they were impressed by the complexity of his ideas and the actions he took to make it happen.

Language educator of the year

Bucksmore Education, UK

Entry summary

Judges were impressed by Bucksmore Education’s diverse programming, with specialist tuition including coding, STEM and the performing arts. Its course offerings receive a yearly refresh to ensure themes remain engaging, tackling topics that include the gig-economy and voting rights.

Marketing campaign of the year

Monash University, Australia - If you don't like it, change it

Entry summary

This campaign was a “call to action” to Monash’s target audiences. It challenged keyboard warriors everywhere to come off the sidelines and do something - to make change. As the university explained, “You won’t find pictures of smiling students sitting under trees in this campaign” – they focused on the fundamental reasons for education and research. The campaign reached 38.3 million eyes globally in 2018: 26,000 audience members interacted with the campaign site and 51,000 engaged with the content on social media – with only 2% being negative reactions / comments.

Outstanding contribution to the industry

Andrew Gordon - CEO and Founder, Diversity Abroad, USA

Entry summary

Andrew Gordon is recognised globally for his work in advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion within international education. In a recent interview with The PIE News, Gordon pushed for the sector to rectify the perception that it was elitist, and ensure overseas education was an opportunity for all. The PIEoneer judges called Gordon a trailblazer, disrupting the common view of study abroad.

PIEoneer of the year

SPARK, Turkey

Entry summary

Among their praise, our PIEoneer judges called SPARK trailblazing, important and noble in its cause to provide higher education and entrepreneurial development to post-conflict societies. SPARK has helped create more than 12,200 jobs and trained more than 27,500 youth since its establishment 25 years ago. It applies the same unique vision in all countries of serving young, ambitious people to lead their societies into prosperity through education and employability.

Progressive education delivery award

Macquarie University, Australia - Global Leadership Program

Entry summary

Combining social responsibility with access to education, the aim of Macquarie University’s Global Leadership Program is to provide learning around leadership for as many students as possible. 23% of participants are international students. The program removes traditional silos to bring together Domestic, International and Study Abroad students from all disciplines in a non-assessable and interactive classroom setting. Our PIEoneer judges praised the program for its complexity and scalability.

Public / private partnership of the year

University of Dundee and Pagoda Projects, UK - International Internship Programme

Entry summary

University of Dundee has successfully worked with Pagoda Projects to deliver accredited international internships for its masters-level students. The process of developing the program involved countless meetings in person in Dundee, site visits to China & Vietnam, student consultation and regular feedback sessions. It has received a 100% Excellent rating from student surveys. The partnership has delivered thoughtful, measured impacts and deliverables, according to our judges.

Real life learning award

Academic Internship Council, USA - in partnership with University of Sydney, Australia and University of California, Berkeley, USA

Entry summary

This entry, which won high scores from the judges, saw a cohort of University of Sydney students engage in a three-week project-based field placement combined with six weeks of online study delivered through UC Berkeley. All 3 partners came together across time zones and academic calendars to develop a unique offering focused on global literacy and development.

Durham College, Canada - The Kenya Education for Employment Program (KEFEP) Documentary Film Project

Entry summary

This program was a model for engaging media students in global issues through documentation of development programs in Kenya. Journalism students and faculty from Durham College spent three weeks documenting how a $29 million program funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) was being delivered in Africa. It aims to transform Kenya into an industrialising, middle-income country. The project works to ensure as many students can attend, while also providing a Global Classroom for those who are unable to go abroad.

Secondary learning international impact award

Summer Boarding Courses, UK

Entry summary

Summer Boarding Courses develops personalised relationships with its students and their parents. Its quality focus saw it receive a point of strength for every category in the 2018 British Council accreditation inspection. They tailor their curriculum and literature towards accessibility, and regularly seeks student input and undertakes rigorous staff training to ensure they stay ahead of the game. 

Student support award

Griffith University, Australia - Griffith English Language Enhancement Strategy (GELES)

Entry summary

The PIEoneer judges were impressed by the whole-of-institution approach adopted by Griffith University in Australia, which has a clear target to ensure international students finish their degrees with better English than when they started. Promoting integration with the entire university environment, the initiative shares responsibility for English language between institution and student.