These grant recipients will now be able to achieve their dreams of studying abroad

The Covid-19 health crisis has hampered the plans of countless students to further their academic and career prospects abroad. This disruption is significant in the education industry considering that East Asia is among the places with the largest number of students who choose to study in the United Kingdom, North America, and Australia.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the British Council, United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, recently announced the winners of the International English Language Testing System ( IELTS) Prize for 2020. The world’s most popular high-stakes English proficiency test, IELTS has been a crucial part of students’ entry requirements to international learning institutions.

The prize has supported over 270 students in East Asia for nine years now, helping successful applicants pursue their dreams of studying overseas. This year, 29 winners in East Asia were added to the list, including three outstanding IELTS test takers in the Philippines who have been awarded the IELTS Prize 19/20 local prizes.

“The IELTS Prize recognizes high performing students that demonstrate the academic excellence and commitment to excel during international study. More important, they show the determination to take what they learned during their time abroad and use it to benefit their communities when they return home,” says director for examinations for the British Council in East Asia, Steve Adams. “It is our privilege to help these talented individuals make their mark in the world that is rapidly changing. International study is one way they can prepare themselves to thrive in the future.”

The corporation received more than 1,400 applications and interviewed over 100 individuals, who excelled at their IELTS test. Three local prize winners in the country are Justine Alyssa Guino, Jessica Isabelle Badua, and Ithran Issachar Kho from first to third prize respectively. 

“Throughout the application process from the personal statement to the interviews, I felt that there was a huge focus on motivations as an individual and the potential for translating passions to impact regardless of the chosen discipline or university,” Justine muses. “I was excited to share my journey and aspirations as I felt that the British Council was supportive not just of study abroad plans but, ultimately, of dreams.”

Three regional IELTS Prizes valued up to GBP 58,000 (P3.6M) were awarded to top students in East Asia who are to pursue higher education in their dream universities either in academic year 2020-2021 or the following school year. There were 26 winners from countries and territories in East Asia who were also awarded local prizes, up to GBP 129,000 (P8M) in total.

“Studying in the UK is something I wanted to achieve, and I wasn’t going to let the recent disruption stop that. Now I am heading to the UK, to study at the London School of Economics. Receiving the IELTS Prize will help me fulfill my education and career ambitions, and it gives me a lot more certainty, at what is a very uncertain time,” regional grand prize winner Hyunah Kim says of her award.

Source: Manila Bulletin (