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STAR Awards China 2014 Awards Ceremony


Left to right: Neil MacGowan (SQA Head of Operations), Zeng Junming from Beihang University (Grand High Winner) and Mr Ming Tingxi (Director of International Cooperation at CSCSE).Our annual STAR Awards Ceremony recognises fantastic achievement by centres offering our qualifications and phenomenal success and commitment from our candidates and those who support them.  Our annual Star Awards have been presented in Scotland for over 20 years. For the first time STAR Awards have been extended to recognise the truly inspirational young people who are advancing and developing their learning and aspirations through our HND qualifications in China.

We have been working with our Chinese partners, the Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) since 2003 as part of a forward reaching programme to engage Chinese students. Together we are offering a rich learning experience that involves acquiring fluency in the English language, achieving an SQA HND qualification from a range of vocational areas, and then the opportunity to undertake a university degree in an English speaking country.  It really has been a hugely successful partnership, with very tangible results for the students and for China.  As contemporary China has sought to develop its economy, the key has been the skills, expertise and competence of its people.  We have been pleased to offer the substance, reliability and international reputation of Scotland’s education system to support that development.  Thirty Chinese universities now offer our HND qualifications.  So far, 19500 students have benefitted from the learning opportunities available.

STAR Awards China invited the Chinese universities to nominate students who are excelling academically but who also have a social conscience that supports family, peers and the wider life of their university.  The nominations received were truly inspirational and a real testament to the learning opportunities our qualifications are offering to support ambitions and dreams.  We were delighted to receive many strong, not to mention passionate, entries which made judging a difficult decision process.

The STAR Awards China Ceremony was held on 25 June in the Chinese capital, Beijing.  Hosted by Alastair Shaw, Head of International and Neil MacGowan, Head of Operations, the Ceremony was a real celebration of success.  In his keynote speech to the excited prize winners, their teachers and families Neil praised their commitment to learning and talked about Scotland’s commitment to its people through learning and training.  The continued success of both China and Scotland would continue to be delivered by our people and their skills and innovation; a common bond that unites both countries.  A DVD showing the innovation of contemporary Scotland was part of Neil’s presentation to the excited audience.

Star Awards China Competition 2014 winners (SQA HND programme students).

Star Awards China Competition 2014 winners (SQA HND programme students).

Along with Mr Ming Tingxi, Director of International Cooperation at CSCSE, Neil presented commemorative certificates and prizes to the finalists.  Eight Centre Participation Awards and 9 Highly Commended Awards were presented to young people from across China.  Top awards went to;

Joint Third Place

  • Wang Zhongyuan, International Education College of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
  • Zhang Dong, Renmin University of China

Second Place

  • Liu Siya, International College of Xiamen University

First Place

  • Zheng Kemiao, Sichuan University

Grand Winner

  • Zeng Junming, Beihang University (BUAA)

The Award Ceremony was an upbeat celebration! Traditional Chinese drummers, the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and Highly Commended finalist Zheng Kexin from Beijing Normal University all performed.

Traditional Chinese drummers opening the awards ceremony.  Summing up the event Neil said “It was an amazing day to share with our excited award winners and their families. It makes you realise how powerful and unifying education is; the work we do is offering opportunity to young people whether in China or Scotland to meet aspirations and pave the way for success in life”

STAR Awards China will be an annual event and we look forward to 2015 when we can again acknowledge and reward some of the brilliant and best students studying for HND qualifications in China.


Here is a sample of the PR generated from the Star Awards China 2014 Ceremony: