Alumna Ashley made a finalist in the British Council’s StudyUK Alumni Awards

The annual British Council Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni overseas to showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education. There are four main award categories: Science and Sustainability, Culture and Creativity, Social Action, and Business and Innovation.

Alumna Ashley Stewart lives in Nigeria and works as a Lecturer in the Fine Arts and Design Department at the University of Port Harcourt, River State Nigeria. She has been named a finalist in the Culture and Creativity category at the StudyUK Alumni Awards for 2022.

The prestigious awards highlight leaders who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions, and countries. 

On entering the Alumni Awards, the former student commented about how her studying at Loughborough and getting a degree in International Management led to her career choice.

Ashley said:

“For the past 11 years, I have lectured at the University of Port Harcourt and specialised in Design Management. This career choice was largely influenced by studying in the UK.

“The fact that I was offered admission to study a postgraduate degree in a field different from mine in fine arts opened my eyes to how the developed world approaches problems, from a multidisciplinary view.”

The alumna has used her role as a visual artist and educator and through this has achieved several successes. These have contributed to her becoming a finalist at the Alumni Awards.

Ashley commented:

“I offer a scholarship to the best art student in my alma mater, University Demonstration Secondary School, Choba. This was done to encourage interest and scholarship in the arts here in Nigeria and three students have been awarded full scholarship.

“I have taught university students a compulsory course in design management where I merge knowledge from my experience in the UK and my artistic background. The course is about the business side of design and the entrepreneurial benefits for the artist. So far, over 500 students have studied and graduated from under me and have gone on to establish their creative businesses.

“I have organised, planned, and participated in several art exhibitions in Nigeria and internationally. These exhibitions had participants aged between 4 and 55. Key to this are vulnerable women and children. The goal was to educate artists and the public on the role art plays in curbing unemployment and other social vices, for self-discovery and building self-esteem and self-reliance.

“I have been privileged to speak at workshops and conferences organized TEDx, British Council, and US Embassy Lagos to name a few. This was in part because of my expertise in theory and practice in my career.

“I am passionate about human rights, especially the female in a patriarchal society. I would otherwise be in the background had I not seen how policies are in place to protect the female in the UK. I have participated in peaceful protests, sensitisation, and training of women through my outreach and benevolence department in Church.”

Ashley credits her success as an artist and lecturer from her experience in the UK.

Congratulations Ashley on making it to the final of the StudyUK awards.