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Top Ten Alumni from the UK

Universities in the UK boast a strong alumni network who have made remarkable impact in their respective fields. Here are some famous alumni from universities in the UK

1. Abiy Ahmed Ali 

Masters of Arts in Transformational Leadership  earned from the business school at Greenwich University, London, in collaboration with the International Leadership Institute, Addis Ababa, in 2011.

Prime minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Abiy Ahmed is a politician serving as the tenth Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for his work in ending a twenty year border dispute with the neighbouring Eritrea and achieving peace and international cooperation. Abiy also formed Ethiopia’s first gender-balanced cabinet, appointing women in numerous senior positions. A former army intelligence officer, Abiy rose rapidly in his political career and has launched a wide programme of political and economic reforms. He has brought about considerable changes in improving the economy and strengthening the democratic process.

2. Stephen William Hawking  

First Class Honours Degree in Natural Science from University College Oxford Research in Cosmology at Cambridge

Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, Author

Stephen Hawking was a theoretical physicist, cosmologist and an author. A former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, at the time of his death he was the Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. Professor Hawking has received a dozen honorary degrees and is the recipient of many awards, medals and prizes and was a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicist since Einstein and has revolutionized his field of work. He has also authored a number of best-selling books to appeal readers who may not have a strong scientific background.

3. Salman Rushdie    

M.A. (honours) in history from Kings College, 1968

Author, Essayist

Salman Rushdie is a world-renowned British Indian novelist and essayist. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to literature. He is best known for the novels ‘Midnights Children’ for which he won the Booker Prize and ‘The Satanic Verses,’ a controversial work which was deemed to be blasphemous against Islam. His books, an amalgamation of magical realism and historical fiction, have been translated to over forty languages. Ranked thirteenth by The Times in the list of ‘top 50 greatest British writers since 1945’, Rushdie has inspired a generation of Indian writers to write in English.

4. Ricky Gervais

Degree in Philosophy, University College of London

Comedian, Actor, Director

Ricky Gervais is an English comedian, actor, writer, producer and director best known for co-creating writing and acting in the series ‘The Office”, UK. He is a recipient of several BAFTA awards, Emmy Awards and the Gooden Globe Awards besides others. Gervias is among the most popular performers of the century and was named in The Times 100 list of wolrd’s most influential people. He has hosted the Golden Globe Awards in the US in 2010 and 2011, been a voice artist and has appeared on numerous talk shows. Controversial for his dark comedy, Gervias popularised a observational documentary as a comic style.

5. Mahatma Gandhi

Law, University College London

Lawyer, Activist, Politician

Mahatma Gandhi is an Indian politician, social activist and writer. He was amongst the forefront of a notion-wide movement against British rule of India. He was named The Time Magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’ in 1930 and is known as the father of his nation. His non-violent protests or satyagraha to achieve political and social reforms shook the British Empire and made him an international icon. Gandhi’s teachings and philosophies inspired human rights movements around the globe including those of Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela.

6. Margaret Thatchers Studied 

Chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford

Former British Prime Minister

Margaret Thatcher was the longest-serving British Prime minister of the 20th century. She was the first woman to hold that post but was reportedly prouder to be the first prime minister with a science degree. During her time in college she was elected as the President of the Student Conservative Association at Oxford which led to her meeting many prominent politicians and familiarized herself with the leadership of her party at that time. She was dubbed the ‘The Iron Lady’ for her uncompromising politics and leadership style, and the policies she implemented as ‘Thatcherism’. Thatcher, during her term reshaped British politics and became one of the world’s most influential and respected political leaders.

7. Kit Harington        

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, 2008

Actor, Producer

Kit Harington is an English actor and producer. He rose to prominence for his role as ‘Jon Snow’ in the HBO television series ‘Game of Thrones’ for. He made Jon Snow a household name and he received several awards for the same  including a Golden Globe nomination and two Primetime Emmy Award nominations and earned him global reputation.

8. David Attenborough     

Studied geology and zoology and obtained a degree in Natural Science Clare College, Cambridge,1945 

Broadcaster, Writer, Naturalist

David Attenborough is an English broadcaster, writer and natural historian. He is best known for writing and presenting the natural history series ‘Life Collection’, an exhaustive study of animal and plant life on earth. He received numerous honours including an Emmy award, several BAFTA Awards and a Peabody award. With his soothing voice he narrated numerous series and helped the viewers understand and appreciate the wonders of the world. Called “the greatest communicator, the peerless educator”, Attenborough’s work has contributed tremendously in educating millions worldwide and inspired to preserve nature.

9. Freddie Mercury       

Art at Isleworth Polytechnic             

Graphic Art and Design, Ealing Technical College and School of Art, 1969                       

Singer, Songwriter

Freddie Mercury was a British rock singer, songwriter, record producer and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. Having studied art and graphic design, he used these skills to design the logo of his band Queen. He is considered the rock world’s most dynamic engaging and versatile performer, he is known for his flamboyant onstage persona.

10.Arianna Huffington           

Economics, Girton College, Cambridge                                                                            

Author, Businesswoman

Arianna Huffington is a Greek-American author, syndicate columnist and businesswoman. She is a media mogul who co-founded the online news platform, ‘The Huffington Post’ and is the CEO of ‘Thrive Global’. Huffington has authored fifteen books on topics ranging from feminism to politics. She has been named in Times Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list.

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