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Chinese comic artist shortlisted for international alumni award

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 13 JANUARY 2016

A bestselling graphic artist from Beijing has been named a finalist in the Education UK Alumni Awards 2016, organised by the British Council. Yifan Ling (凌一凡), who graduated from Birmingham City University in 2006, has been shortlisted in the Professional Achievement Award category.

More widely known by her pen name, Buddy, Yifan has been creating manga comics professionally for 12 years. During this time, she has published more than 20 books internationally and her online manga story ‘Guarding’ has been viewed by over 110 million people. Later this year, ‘Guarding’ will be developed into a television show and a film in China and South Korea.

Visual Communication Courses

Birmingham City University

Yifan studied for her postgraduate MA at Birmingham City University’s School of Visual Communication, one of the largest of its kind in the UK. During her time at the University, Yifan won the Best Recommended Award as part of the Macmillan Prize 2006 for her children’s book ‘Cactus’. 

“My life in the UK inspired me to observe real people around me and bring them into my cartoon works, which I am still doing today.”

The Education UK Alumni Awards celebrate the success of international alumni who have studied at UK universities within the last 10 years. They honour the outstanding achievements made by business professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders who can demonstrate how their UK education has impacted on their subsequent success.

Jacqueline Jenkins, Senior Advisor, Education Engagement at the British Council said:

“It’s absolutely tremendous to see such inspirational stories demonstrating the impact that a UK education can have upon individuals and countries around the world. We had hundreds of excellent nominations and it was very difficult to filter it down to the finalists.

“These alumni are an outstanding credit to their universities and hopefully will serve as an inspiration to the next generation of ambitious international students.”

The UK continues to be one of the most popular countries that students from China choose to study in, with more than 250,000 Chinese nationals graduating from a UK institution since 2005.

Birmingham City University currently has 800 students from China and recent alumni from the institution now occupy senior positions in a wide range of organisations including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Jaguar Land Rover, Kimberly-Clark Professional, Lenovo, Michael Kors and Shanghai Disney Resort.

Yifan Ling’s tutor at Birmingham City University, Professor of Graphic Art, Andrew Kulman said:

“Yifan came to Birmingham City University with an excellent reputation as a leading comic artist and it was great to be able to introduce her to new ways of thinking and making images. We enjoyed really fruitful conversations and the resulting work was astounding.

“This is why we do what we do – it is always great to be surprised by new directions and seeing someone reach higher. I wish Yifan well with her successes.”

Chinese winners in the Education UK Alumni Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Beijing on Saturday 19 March.

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