Group shot pf UK Alumni graduation

British Council

The UK-SE ASIA Knowledge Partnership team's events and projects that taken place and demonstrate the UK as a partner of choice for UK education, research and innovation.

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Graduation UK 2014

A first of its kind, Graduation UK sees 120 Malaysian alumni of UK universities given the chance to graduate in front of their families, many after ten to fifteen years after completing their studies.  A chance to celebrate the leading position of UK education in Malaysia, and develop the affinity many alumni already feel for the UK. Jointly facilitated by the FCDO and British Council’s UK-Southeast Asia Knowledge Partnership, as part of the regional alumni programme.  Expense, time lapse and difficulties returning back from overseas were main factors for non-attendance of graduation ceremonies in the UK.

The traditional formalities of a UK ceremony were followed.  The Commissioner’s Opening Procession included British Council Malaysia’s Country Director, the Provosts and CEOs of the Universities of Reading and Nottingham, , Dato’ Jimmy Choo, Founder of Jimmy Choo and Dato’ Low Bin Tick, President of British Graduates of Malaysia. 

There was a strong response to attend the graduation ceremony from 68 PhD, 52 Masters and over 50 graduates and post graduates who graduated in the last fifteen years, almost all being senior and executive professionals and entrepreneurs.

Participants responded enthusiastically. “I completed my Masters in Law from LSE in 1998 but I was not fortunate enough to return to London in 1999 to attend the graduation.  My father made many sacrifices to see me through my time in London. So to finally get the opportunity for everyone to come together to attend my graduation was something that I had not thought would be possible … When people ask, I tell them my graduation on Saturday 20th September 2014 was an event that was 15 years in the making!” said graduand, Suaran Singh Sidhu, Partner, Suaran & Sankey (Advocates & Solicitors).

Examples like Suaran’s provide an insight into how valuable events like these can be.  While Kuala Lumpur was a pilot effort, the FCDO and British Council are working to facilitate others. Graduation UK demonstrated the UK’s commitment as an international partner in education and business.  It facilitated the revival of lost relationships between alumni, universities and networks, but also promoted UK education, business, scholarship, and research opportunities that they would otherwise be unaware of. 

With the success of the event and the positive feedback from all involved, most importantly the alumni themselves, there are already plans to hold similar ceremonies in the future, with the next Graduation UK to be held in Pakistan.

The Innovation Design Forum

Innovation is the key driver for economic growth, but building a culture of innovation requires a concerted effort across society, from governments to individual companies to researchers. The Innovation Forum explored the ways in which the UK and the diverse and fast emerging countries of South East Asia can collaborate.

The Forum, attended by 120 delegates from government, universities and industry, focussed on:

  • what UK government can do to stimulate innovation
  • how companies can develop and deploy technologies
  • the role of design and creativity in the innovation process
  • the ways in which innovation can be encouraged at an early age.  

In his speech Lord Green said: 

"We all recognise the importance of high quality education and encouraging our young people to be creative and innovative. I hope we can share our experiences and learn from each other. World land speed record holder Andy Green is here today to tell us how he and his team are using the Bloodhound Project to inspire the next generation to tackle global challenges through science, technology, engineering and mathematics."

Innovation Design Forum June 2013


List of projects:

  • Curriculum Development of Transferable Skills –  a project run by SEAMEO VOCTECH involving six SE Asia countries and a UK Awarding Body – content and photos to be inserted.
  • Atenio Law School, Philippines
  • Film Academy development in Laos
  • Feasibility Study of regional alumni engagement
  • ASEAN Research Excellence and Collaborations Study
  • University UK Alliance – scenario based study on the future of HE in ASEAN