29 September 2021


  • Winners of the 2021 British Council IELTS Prize in Malaysia will pursue their study in UK and Canada
  • 26 talented students from across East Asia will receive a share of GBP 72,000 prize fund helping them to realise international study ambitions
  • The IELTS Prize virtual award ceremony will be held on 30 September 2021 to celebrate all winners in the presence of their family, friends, and the next potential winners.

The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for educational and cultural opportunities, has announced the winners of the 2021 IELTS Prize. In its tenth year, the IELTS Prize has supported more than 300 students in East Asia to date, helping them pursue their dreams of studying abroad. This year, 26 prize winners in East Asia are added to the list, including three outstanding IELTS test takers in Malaysia who have been awarded the IELTS Prize local prizes.

The British Council received over 600 applications and interviewed over 80 high flying individuals, who not only excelled at their IELTS test, but explained their intentions to contribute to the society locally or abroad after study.

Local IELTS Prizes are awarded to three outstanding test takers in Malaysia

Three local prize winners in Malaysia are Tan Pei Jing, Hadhinah Binti Ahmad Puaad and Senthil Kumaran Raja Kumar.

First Prize winner Tan Pei Jing says: ‘IELTS Prize has given me the confidence to be bolder in taking chances to explore, experiment and hopefully excel in various fields of life. There is nothing more motivating than seeing the joy in my parents’ eyes when they heard that I won the IELTS Prize.’

Millions of students had to readjust their study plans due to the continued disruption of the pandemic. IELTS, the world’s popular high-stakes English proficiency test, has been a crucial part of students’ entry requirements, especially for East Asia which is one of the largest markets for students wishing to study in the United Kingdom, the US, Canada and Australia.

Trish Thomson, Regional Marketing Director for the British Council in East Asia said: ‘The IELTS Prize recognises those high performing students that demonstrate the academic excellence and commitment to excel during international study. More importantly, they show the determination to take what they learnt during their time abroad and use it to benefit their communities when they return home. 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 British Council in East Asia also invites all students planning to study abroad and interested in taking IELTS tests to the 2021 IELTS Prize Virtual Award Ceremony which will be live streamed on British Council IELTS Facebook pages across East Asia on 30 September. This 45-minute online event is open to anyone, and it will be great opportunity to learn from the IELTS Prize winners on how to ace the IELTS test and how their lives have and will change as they embark on their new study journey.

For more information about IELTS prize, visit https://www.ieltsasia.org/my/ielts-prize

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact British Council Exams Marketing Manager, Sherry Tan at sherry.tan@britishcouncil.org.my and Head of Communications, Ikram Khasim at ikram.khasim@britishcouncil.org

About IELTS Prize

Since 2011, the British Council IELTS Prize (East Asia) has enabled more than 300 IELTS test takers to pursue their studies around the world, including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and more.

The IELTS Prize is awarded to high-calibre individuals with the motivation to develop their career, to pursue an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any chosen discipline in a higher education institution that accepts IELTS as part of its admission requirements around the world. While the IELTS Prize is not aimed at students in any one particular discipline, the British Council is eager to support test takers who demonstrate the potential to contribute to society with what they have gained from their undergraduate or postgraduate study experience.

More information can be found at https://www.ieltsasia.org/ieltsprize.

2020/21 IELTS Prize winner list

Country IELTS Prize winner






Tan Pei Jing

University of British Columbia

Applied Science


Hadhinah Binti Ahmad Puaad

University College London (UCL)

MSc Sports Medicine, Exercise and Health


Senthil Kumaran Raja Kumar

Aberystwyth University

Media and Creative Writing

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration with over millions of tests taken each year. Over 11,000 organisations trust and accept IELTS as a secure, valid and reliable indicator of true to life ability to communicate in English for education, immigration and professional accreditation. IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP Education and Cambridge Assessment English.

About the test

Test takers are measured in listening, reading, writing and speaking. All tests are scored on a banded system from 1 (the lowest) through to 9 (the highest band).

IELTS offers a choice of two test versions, to serve both academic and non-academic purposes. IELTS Academic measures English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher learning environment. The tasks and texts are accessible to all test takers, irrespective of their subject focus. IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context. The tasks and texts reflect both workplace and social situations. IELTS General Training is suitable for immigration purposes to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and Ireland.

A sample of government and professional associations who recognise or require applicants to hold an IELTS test result include:

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection
  • UK Visas and Immigration
  • Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and National Council of State Boards of Nursing, USA
  • International Monetary Fund

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall including online, and through broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.