Winners 2021

Association of the year

What makes an association vital to their membership and what have they achieved for their members in 2020? In the Association of the year award, we recognise associations who have supported their membership in ways that go above and beyond standard expectations, and whose work has had a long-lasting or significant impact.

Winner

English UK, UK

Entry summary

In a year when English UK member centres saw a 79% drop in student numbers, the association has never been stronger. English UK is an innovative, resourceful, and resilient community of members that supports each other and is looking forward to providing world- class education to over 500,000 students a year, once more.

Highly commended

The Skills Builder Partnership, UK

Entry summary
The Skills Builder Partnership is an international association of 750+ schools, colleges, employers and not-for-profit organisations. We support our members worldwide to work together to achieve collective impact in global education, towards our vision of a world where everyone can build the essential skills to succeed.
Championing diversity award

International education and study abroad experiences can be life-changing but also expensive. The Championing diversity award recognises organisations that have been successful in widening participation across their student cohort and enabling a more diverse range of students to access their teaching or services.

Winner

Deakin University, Australia - Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education (CREATE)

Entry summary
Refugees in Australia face a range of barriers that can prevent them from accessing higher education and meaningful employment. Using research-driven initiatives, refugee-centred design and collaboration with community partners, Deakin’s Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education (CREATE) assists people from a refugee background to help overcome these barriers.
Highly commended

Otermans Institute, UK

Entry summary
Otermans Institute is solving the global skills and employability divide by upskilling unserved and underserved learners from UN Refugee and IDP camps in Iraq to government education and work departments in Afghanistan, India, and the UK. Even within the organisation, it's front-facing staff are 84% women and 65% ethnic minorities.
Digital innovation of the year - assessment and credentials

The importance of preparing students for online assessment, running secure online assessments and managing students’ credentials has grown exponentially, particularly as a result of the pandemic. In this brand-new category for 2021, we recognise organisations that are excelling in delivering these services to international students.

Winner

NCUK - The University Consortium, UK - Digital Assessment Platform

Entry summary
2020 was a trying year for organisations around the world, especially within the international higher education sector. Not only did we overcome these challenges, but we took hold of the opportunities to strengthen our offering and ensure continuity for students, enabling them to progress to university.
Highly commended

Riiid, Korea - AI-enabled education

Entry summary
Riiid’s proprietary AI technology, based on deep learning algorithms, analyzes user data and content, predicts scores and behavior, and recommends personalized study plans in real-time to help users optimize their learning potential. Riiid’s AI technology is content agnostic, highly scalable and can be used in a wide range of industries.

ETS, US - TOEFL® Special Home Edition

Entry summary
In March 2020, the TOEFL iBT test, created by nonprofit ETS, launched the first-of-its-kind English Language at-home edition while traditional in-person testing was limited and/or suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This innovation enabled test takers to progress on their study abroad journeys and for institutions to receive scores without interruption.
Digital innovation of the year - learning

Using technology to lead learning or implement online or blended modules can have a significant impact on the way teachers teach and on how students learn, and since the Covid-19 pandemic started, using digital technology to deliver successful remote teaching has been a primary focus for the global education sector. Through the Digital innovation of the year – learning award, we aim to uncover innovative and successful uses of technology that help international students of any age to learn. 

Winner

EHL, Switzerland - Virtual Housekeeping Class

Entry summary
‘Virtual Housekeeping’ has transformed the reputation of our less trendy but compulsory Housekeeping course and saved expensive field trips, stimulating new experiential learning via a “serious game” overseen by the teacher, which interacts teams of 5 with a virtual 5-star room, using Oculus headsets, live screens and EHL housekeeping procedures.

VictoryXR, US - VictoryXR Campus

Entry summary
The VictoryXR Campus has moved beyond the solitary experience of most virtual reality learning to a shared, synchronous classroom where teachers teach and students learn together in a group setting. Morehouse College, Washington State University and other schools adopted this campus because of it's extraordinary learning capabilities.
Highly commended

Navitas (UPA Division), Australia - Flexible Learning Project

Entry summary
Flexible Learning is a design model based on the principles of flexibility, equivalency, versatility, accessibility and connectivity which enables students to attend classes face-to-face or online, synchronously or asynchronously, forming one single learning community. Navitas UPA redeveloped and implemented all units in this new flexible learning model.
Digital innovation of the year - technology

In the Digital innovation of the year – technology award, we showcase how digital innovation is solving problems faced by professionals working across the international education sector. These are very wide-ranging in their scope and there are examples that have an impact on all facets of our industry. 

Winner

QS, UK - Global AI Enrolment Solutions

Entry summary
QS deployed AI technology, building 23 machine learning models aimed at predicting students who were more likely to enrol, that removed the guesswork from student recruitment processes. Putting AI technologies in practice, QS removed operational limitations and enabled recruitment teams to prioritise engagement with qualified applicants and offer holders.
Highly commended

Adventus.io, Singapore

Entry summary
Adventus.io is a SaaS-based B2B2C marketplace for the international student recruitment sector. Connecting institutions, recruitment agents, and adjacent services to be able to find and transact with each other–seamlessly, reliably, and without bias. Helping students make one of the most important decisions of their lives with confidence.
Employability international impact award

Students choose to undertake an international study experience for a multitude of reasons, but one overriding factor is to improve their long-term employment prospects. For the Employability international impact award, we recognise organisations who are proactively changing what and how they teach their students, or offering new services, to ensure students have a genuinely improved chance of finding and securing meaningful employment post-graduation.

Winner

Student Circus, UK

Entry summary
Student Circus is an award-winning employability platform that helps boost international student careers globally, trusted by 45+ universities- Imperial College B-School, LSE, University of Bristol, among others. A first-of-its-kind solution with visa-enabled opportunities for international graduates many of whom have landed jobs at KPMG, Deloitte, Blackrock, Rolls Royce, among others.
Highly commended

Franked.io and NSW partners, Australia

Entry summary
An exciting employability, job-readiness program, INTERCHANGE, develops attributes employers want. City, rural and offshore international students gain real-world, contextual problem-solving experience, practising entrepreneurial thinking, collaboration and relationship-building. Completely sustainable and scalable, INTERCHANGE benefits any university or enterprise. Students become future-work ready by learning and quickly applying networking, communication and presentation
International alumni of the year
Alumni success stories are at the heart of much of our work supporting international students. In the International alumni of the year award, we celebrate the international students who have made a really significant contribution to either their institution or the wider community in which they live and work. We’re keen to hear examples of inspiring achievement. The award will be presented to the host institution of the student if they are not able to attend our awards event in person. Alumni must have graduated from 2017 onwards.
Winner

Dev Aditya, India - Brunel University, UK

Entry summary
Dev founded Otermans Institute that upskills unserved learners across ten countries. He also developed the word’s first AI virtual teacher; currently upskilling refugee learners in UN camps. UK’s Prime Minister awarded Dev for his bestseller Together: An anthology that is donating all proceeds to NHS Charities and Indian frontline services.
Highly commended

Arundhati Katju, India - International House, US

Entry summary
International House alumnae and Columbia Law graduate Arundhati Katju ’17 was named one of Time Magazine‘s 100 Most Influential People in 2019. Ms. Katju had litigated and won a landmark case before the Indian Supreme Court to uphold LGBQT+ rights in India by overturning a 157-year-old law that criminalized homosexuality.
International student living award

The International student living award recognises any type of organisation providing housing for international students, that can demonstrate a pro-active effort to deliver innovative and high quality services specifically designed for international students, and show very high levels of student satisfaction.

Winner

Nido Student, UK

Entry summary
Nido brings together students of all cultures and backgrounds, and that hasn’t changed throughout the pandemic. Significant pre- and post-pandemic investment by Round Hill Capital and new business wins helped Nido exponentially throughout, enabling Nido to support and enhance the lives of international students despite an unprecedented health crisis.
Highly commended

The Stay Club, UK

Entry summary
In true ‘The Stay Club style’, a strong community-led ethos, service adaptability, and out-the-box thinking were the essential ingredients to success in a year like no other. Folks at The Stay Club accredit their recent achievements to a resilient team of industry professionals and loyal community of students and partners.
Language educator of the year

In the Language educator of the year category, we recognise language providers around the world who are going the extra mile to provide their students with a stand-out experience and an exceptional level of service, whether they are studying for one week or one year, and those who are innovating the student experience to ensure students develop their language skills and become confident communicators. 

Winner

Australian Centre for Education (ACE), Cambodia

Entry summary
ACE has been putting students first for three decades; it is not uncommon for three generations of the same family to have studied at ACE, an institution which forms part of Cambodia’s education heritage and is synonymous with quality learning and innovation in Southeast Asia. Welcome to the ACE community.
Highly commended

English Unlimited, Australia

Entry summary
Combining innovation and flexibility, English Unlimited ensures that students’ needs are at the forefront of school policy. Providing quality lessons through its inhouse coursebooks, flexibility through its asynchronous courses, and mental and physical well-being through its Social Club, English Unlimited is now one of the largest ELICOS providers in Australia.

ILAC - International Language Academy of Canada, Canada

Entry summary
Over the past year, over 10,000 international students have joined ILAC KISS virtual classes to make their dreams of studying, working and living in Canada come true. To thank them for their loyalty, ILAC is giving away KISS dollars to spend on ILAC in-person programs in 2021.
Lifetime impact award

After a suggestion was made to us at The PIE, we recognised the work and achievements of Arlene Griffiths through a new, surprise, Lifetime impact award – we like to think of this as the People’s Choice award.

Winner

Arlene Griffiths, UK

Entry summary

Arlene has helped so many people in their careers in international education and proven to be a true powerhouse of global networking, collegiality and drive. She began her career in pharmaceuticals before working in international education, then led the international office for Cardiff University before working for the British Council and then launching IDP Education in the UK.

Marketing campaign of the year

The Marketing campaign of the year award celebrates inventive and inspirational marketing campaigns from across the global education industry that have achieved significant results in terms of reach, messaging or impact. Campaigns can have been run by any type of organisation operating in the sector, and we will take into consideration the success of the campaign within the context of budget and other resources available.

Winner

Universities UK International, UK - The #WeAreTogether international recruitment campaign

Entry summary
The #WeAreTogether campaign, developed and led by Universities UK International, provided reassurance to prospective international students during the 20/21 conversion cycle to continue with their plans to study in the UK during the pandemic. More than 90 UK universities joined this student-led campaign, which reassured more than 67% of students.
Highly commended

Nord Anglia Education, UK - ‘A Little Bit of Genius’ Podcast Campaign

Entry summary

‘A Little Bit of Genius’ is a student-led podcast, led by Nord Anglia students interviewing experts in the arts, sciences, sport, and beyond. The podcast has been a major success, thanks to a global effort from Nord Anglia schools, with more than 20 episodes now live in various markets.

Outstanding contribution to the industry

In the Outstanding contribution to the industry award, we accept nominations on behalf of others. This award recognises individuals who have helped evolve or shape the global education sector in a significant way. There are many people who have dedicated their career to influencing or changing the landscape of our industry in a positive way, and this award enables us to celebrate their individual achievements and the impact their work has had. Their influence in the field and how the global education industry has developed as a result of their work must be clearly evidenced.

Winner

Vivienne Stern, UK

Entry summary
Vivienne Stern Director at UUKi has had a positive impact on the outcome of key legislation for UK international education since being appointed in 2014. The most notable being the post study work visa route and the recent Turing Scheme announcement. A true representative of UK universities collective interests globally.
Highly commended

Dr. Jagdish Gandhi, India

Entry summary
Reimagining education as a vehicle for world unity and world peace, and empowering his students as agents of profound global social transformation, Jagdish Gandhi founded City Montessori School in 1959. He has pioneered a hugely successful global movement for a more interconnected, equitable, fair and just world through education.
PIEoneer of the year

Our flagship award, PIEoneer of the year, is open to organisations and individuals that can demonstrate their commitment to improving some facet of the global education industry and show how their entry has genuinely changed the landscape we operate in. Anyone from across the industry can apply for this award if they can evidence real change and innovation that is impacting the wider industry for the better. There is no timeframe to this award - it can be awarded to an organisation or person who has been working on their nominated project, business or idea for more than one year. Entrants in other categories can also enter this category, which is considered the ‘crowning achievement’ award, if they believe their entry demonstrates genuine change and innovation that can impact the wider industry.

Winner

TAFE Queensland, Australia - Australian Pacific Training Coalition (APTC)

Entry summary
The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) is an Australian Government initiative providing training excellence and collaboration. It delivers Australian qualifications in various vocational areas aligned to employment opportunities for Pacific Island citizens. APTC’s goal is to contribute towards a more skilled, inclusive and productive workforce that enhances Pacific Prosperity.
Highly commended

Green School Bali, Indonesia - A community of learners making our world sustainable

Entry summary
The Green School mission is to be “a community of learners making our world sustainable.” It exists to inspire students to connect with nature and with local communities, to develop holistically with skills and competencies for the world of today and the future, to learn entrepreneurial approaches to problem.
Progressive education delivery award

How do we actually learn? How do we measure impact? How do we make learning relevant to the real world? The Progressive education delivery award recognises education programs that have innovated how they teach and who they reach, that are unique, successful in their approach to teaching, and focused on the student’s life journey in the 21st century.

Winner

Humber College, Canada - Beyond COVID-19: Global Systems Gap Challenge

Entry summary
Humber’s Beyond COVID-19: Global Systems Gap Challenge invites postsecondary students around the globe to utilize a systems thinking approach to consider the change they want to see in the world within the wider context of COVID-19 and the current landscape of solution efforts, while developing essential employability skills.
Highly commended

University of Miami, US - Hemispheric University Consortium

Entry summary
Filmed professionally in 10 international locations, above and under water, and taught by highly distinguished marine scientists, the Ocean Health Voyage is a groundbreaking educational platform about marine conservation that is incorporated into the curriculum of 14 universities in Latin America, Caribbean, Canada, and US that constitute Hemispheric University Consortium.
Public / private partnership of the year

Public private partnerships continue to be a defining trend of the global education industry, as education providers have looked to innovate areas such as student recruitment, accommodation, market-entry facilitation, and the remote delivery of education, by leveraging the expertise of private companies. This award recognises successful partnerships and achievements that occurred during 2020.

Winner

QA Higher Education and Northumbria University, UK - Northumbria University London Campus

Entry summary
Since 2014 Northumbria University and QA have partnered in the delivery of Northumbria’s London Campus. The campus is home to 2500 students representing 90 countries studying a portfolio of distinctive, research-rich and globally-focused programmes in the disciplines of digital business, emerging technology, computing, cyber and international project management.
Highly commended

Kaplan Higher Education and The University of Adelaide, Australia - The University of Adelaide Melbourne Campus

Entry summary
The University of Adelaide is a world-class research and teaching institution, preparing the leaders of tomorrow. Kaplan is a leading provider of lifelong education. The University of Adelaide Melbourne Campus, the first Australian Go8 interstate campus, sees Kaplan deliver University programs and the entire student experience on the University’s behalf.
Real life learning award

More and more students are seeking international learning experiences that take place beyond the classroom and into the workplace or within a new community. The Real life learning award recognises organisations offering innovative learning programs or products that include an immersive international learning environment, whether that is virtual or real world.

Winner

Paragon One, US

Entry summary
As higher education continues to prioritize good grades and test-taking, students left without a clear pathway to the workforce struggle to demonstrate job-ready skills and experience to recruiters. Paragon One is on a mission to help them build employability beyond the classroom, via flexible, accessible Remote Externships at top companies.
Highly commended

Texas International International Education Consortium, US

Entry summary
In response to COVID-19, TIEC partnered with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to develop a Center of Excellence in online and flexible learning for West Africa. The project provides hands-on faculty training in flexible-learning best practices while building capacity and refining instructional norms at the institutional level.
Secondary learning international impact award

The Secondary learning international impact award is a chance for any type of institution teaching 11-18 year olds to showcase how they are innovating the delivery of learning and support to their international students, to ensure their experience is first-rate and that they leave ready for further education or the world of work as global citizens. Any type of institution can enter, as long as you have a minimum 10% students whose parents primarily reside overseas or who would be considered expats in-country.

Winner

Merrick Preparatory School, Canada

Entry summary
With students from 33 different countries, Merrick Preparatory School (MPS) has a global impact. Our focus on courage, community and compassion, along with academic excellence in a small, safe caring environment with a maximum capacity of 60 boarding students means that all students receive dedicated care, attention and superb education.
Highly commended

Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz, Switzerland

Entry summary
The Lyceum had an infrastructure in place to support subject delivery using mobile technologies, being a full one to one device school (every teacher and student has a laptop or tablet). The pandemic saw us form an emergency ICT committee to plan and prototype an online provision for our community.

Rosedale Academy, Canada

Entry summary
Rosedale Academy is a Canadian secondary school, focused on transnational delivery of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma curriculum to international students. Rosedale partners with leading global institutions to deliver an innovative blended learning model, which combines modern digitalized international curriculum with traditional in-class learning, impacting thousands of international students worldwide.
Student counselling organisation of the year

Student counselling is a vital part of the international education industry. The Student counselling organisation of the year award is an opportunity for organisations to showcase outstanding innovation, global collaboration, successful business expansion, diversification of portfolio, and exemplary support for students that goes above and beyond standard expectations. This category is an opportunity for companies that support institutions with student placement to submit their own entry, or for schools, colleges and universities to nominate a partner for the award.

Winner

Blue Ivy Coaching, Mexico

Entry summary
Blue Ivy Coaching has grown to become the largest university advising firm in Latin America. We use rigorous advising methodology to help students find the best fit career, while collaborating with university partners in creative recruitment strategies. In 2020, the company expanded internationally through a series of partnerships and acquisitions.
Highly commended

IDP Education, Global

Entry summary
Although already a global leader, 2020 saw our people shine above the rest. While we innovated quickly, it was the compassion and trustworthiness of our counsellors that ensured students were guided through a global crisis. Simultaneously, we provided insights to institutions to guarantee students’ concerns and motivations were heard.

SI-UK, Global

Entry summary
SI-UK is an international education agency that assists students to apply to UK universities from all over the world (from 62 offices in 28 countries). Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2021, SI-UK is proud to be one of the largest recruiters of international students to the UK HE sector.
Student support award

It is critical that international students who are undertaking an overseas study experience feel welcomed, supported, and become integrated with domestic students, those from nationalities other than their own, and their local community. In the Student support award, we are looking for innovative and successful ways that organisations support international students, to ensure their overall student experience is exemplary. In 2020, there were myriad of creative solutions developed at super fast speed to support international students during the Covid pandemic and we would love to hear about the success of yours in this category, if relevant.

Winner

Study NSW, New South Wales (NSW) Government, Australia - International Student Temporary Crisis Accommodation Scheme

Entry summary
At the height of the pandemic, the NSW Government created a temporary crisis accommodation scheme in partnership with approved student accommodation providers. The scheme saved 6,300+ vulnerable international students from homelessness, offered welfare support, integrated them into the community and helped them get back on their feet.

Kaplan Business School, Australia - COVID-19 Student Welfare Plan

Entry summary
In acknowledgement of the negative effects on international students caused by COVID-19, Kaplan Business School launched the COVID-19 Student Welfare Plan comprising sector-leading support, the components of which (both financial and academic) were determined following a survey in March 2020, one week after all classes transitioned to online learning.
Highly commended

iCent, Canada - COVID Safe Canada Program - iCent App

Entry summary
COVID Safe Canada launched in August 2020 as a means to support International students with live 24/7 services as they navigated the pre-arrival, arrival and self isolation process while persuing their studies in Canada. This support service continues to this day, supporting 80,000 students and counting, with over 40 partners.

The Institute of International Education, US - The IIE Emergency Student Fund: COVID-19 Response

Entry summary
The IIE-ESF: COVID-19 Response provided grants to international college students in the United States in the wake of the pandemic. In April 2020, IIE committed over $2 million to aid over 870 international students at 328 colleges and universities.
Sustainability international impact award

Global education as an industry inherently involves many activities that impact negatively on the environment. With climate change and sustainability at the forefront of people’s minds, the Sustainability international impact award enables us to recognise organisations working in our sector that are proactively making positive changes to reduce the impact of their international operation on a global or local scale.

Winner

Universitas 21 [U21], UK

Entry summary
In 2020 U21 created a suite of sustainably themed, online, global initiatives for students across 18 countries which were, in themselves, sustainably designed and delivered. With no travel possible, these projects allowed almost 3,000 students to connect and work online with peers from across the world, focusing on the SDGs.
Highly commended

Green School International, Indonesia - Green School Bali

Entry summary
The Green School mission is to be “a community of learners making our world sustainable.” It exists to inspire students to connect with nature and with local communities, to develop holistically with skills and competencies for the world of today and the future, to learn entrepreneurial approaches to problem

International House World Organisation, UK

Entry summary
International House is ambitious that all IH schools will take positive actions to safeguard our planet, and minimise the negative impacts we have on our environment. We are incentivising schools to change their operations, and are running international student projects.