25 July 2018

Three Outstanding Students in East Asia Win Regional IELTS Prize

Four outstanding IELTS test takers in Malaysia have been selected as regional and local prize winners of the British Council IELTS Prize 2017/18. Cheah Zoe won the regional Third Prize, while the local winners are Lena Chua Chun Yen, Magdalene Rose de Rozario and Vaneitha Balakrishnan. 

Winners attended a panel interview and were selected based on their organisation and communication skills, ability to talk about their dreams and aspirations, and insight into how they plan to contribute to their home country after their studies. Since the launch of the IELTS Prize in 2011, the award has helped more than 200 students in East Asia pursue their dreams of studying abroad. This year, 30 local prize winners will be added to the list. Each of the local prize winners receives an award valued at RM11,000. British Council also awards three regional prizes to top students in East Asia who will pursue higher education in their dream universities abroad in the coming September. The regional prizes are valued at RM220,000 (Grand Prize), RM55,000 (Second Prize) and RM27,500 (Third Prize).

“We are proud to announce that this year there are four Malaysian winners of the British Council IELTS Prize 2017/18 and, for the second year in a row, we have a regional prize winner from Malaysia,” said Sarah Deverall, Director Malaysia. “The British Council has been working with Malaysia since 1948. In 2018 we are marking this 70th anniversary with a series of events celebrating cultural relations and exchange between the UK and Malaysia so are particularly pleased to be presenting the IELTS Prize to our winners in this special year.”

Regional Third Prize winner Cheah Zoe from Malaysia is an advocate of gender equality in the field of sciences and is extremely passionate about Biological Science. She received offers from multiple prestigious UK universities, and believes that winning the IELTS Prize has enabled her to be one step closer to her dream. She notes, “This Prize has not only relieved a huge financial burden, but it has given me the opportunity to go overseas and gain a deeper understanding of biology that would allow me to accomplish my dreams of working alongside the World Health Organization in combating the rise of antibiotic resistant disease, helping me contribute to the research and development sector in my country.” 

One of the local prize winners, Vaneitha Balakrishnan, is grateful about winning the local prize, which is an acknowledgment of her postgraduates’ studies for her mid-career pursuits and opens great opportunity for her professional development. She said, “IELTS Prize is a unique scholarship, where the entry requirements are simple and the scholarship does not bind recipients with any future restrictions, allowing flexibility in pursuit of career goals.”

“Through the IELTS Prize, we are pleased to support more high-calibre individuals who demonstrate the potential to contribute to society as a result of their undergraduate or postgraduate study”, said Steve Adams, Director Examinations, East Asia. “With over three million tests taken in 2017, IELTS is the world’s most popular high-stakes English proficiency test, helping test takers realise their dream to study, work and live overseas. It is trusted and recognised by more than 10,000 universities, schools, employers and immigration bodies.”

British Council provides full support in preparing students for the IELTS test, including its offering, Road to IELTS, a collection of specially-designed online practice materials for registered students, and access to a range of preparation materials, such as practice tests. For convenience, test sessions are organised at least three times a month, which gives test takers flexibility when selecting sessions that best suit them. To learn more, please visit https://www.ieltsasia.org/my/.