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Manchester alumna wins Global International Education Award

Riddi Viswanathan

At the PIEoneer Awards held virtually on 2 October 2020, Riddi Viswanathan, a graduate from The University of Manchester was awarded the ‘International Alumni of the Year 2020’ award for her contributions to diverse student communities, particularly for her vital role in the #PoststudyWorkVisaNOW campaign and addressing hate crime in UK Universities.

Riddi shares this year’s PIEoneer Alumni of the Year award with Thomson Ch’ng from Curtin University, Australia

The PIEoneer Awards are the only global awards that celebrate innovation and achievement across the whole of the international education industry. This year’s PIEoneer awards had a total of 18 categories with a distinguished judging panel representing geographical and professional diversity.

On winning the award, Riddi Viswanathan commented, “I am truly grateful to The University of Manchester, my students’ union, my family and friends for always uplifting me.

"This is definitely a celebratory moment for me but what makes it bittersweet is that while we celebrate international education, despite the pandemic, globally, migrant students are facing increased challenges including threats of visa revocations in some countries.

"We can truly celebrate international education when all students, regardless of the colour of their passports can access education equally, globally.”

Nancy Rothwell, The President and the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, commented, "I am delighted to hear that Riddi has won this award. It is so well deserved and a great recognition of all the work she has done for diverse student communities."

Riddi Viswanathan is a 23-year-old entrepreneur, supported by the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre at Alliance Manchester Business School, leading her startup Generation Purple which aims to enhance diversity in graduate recruitment through digital initiatives. Previously, Riddi has also served The University of Manchester Students’ Union as the former diversity officer and First-Full Time International Students’ Officer representing over 40,000 students at the University.