Media - Global community

Our global community of former students and alumni include many exceptional people who have made their mark on the world.

Seven Nobel Prize Winners:

  • Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins
  • Ronald Coase
  • Wole Soyinka
  • Derek Walcott
  • Rolph Payet
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Sir Charles Kao.

This list also includes academics (Asa Briggs, Kwasi Wiredu, Sir Geoffrey Elton); engineers (Sir Barnes Wallis); politicians (Dr Luisa Diogo, Gisela Stuart MP); and writers (H.G. Wells, Chinua Achebe, Malcolm Bradbury).

Today, our worldwide reputation continues to ensure our graduates are to be found in leading positions around the world.

Her Excellency Luisa Diogo

Her Excellency Luisa Diogo - graduated 1992

Former Prime Minister of Mozambique

Her Excellency Luisa Diogo, Prime Minister of Mozambique from 2004 to 2010, is one of a number of former senior government officials from Mozambique to hold a qualification from the University of London International Programmes.

At the start of the 1990s, when Mozambique was planning to enter the modern world economy, government members chose to educate themselves by studying for the MSc Financial Economics degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) via distance learning through the University of London International Programmes.

Luisa Diogo has been a strong advocate for providing free reproductive health and general health services in Africa. She has also driven economic and judicial reform and improved social services in Mozambique.

On several occasions, she has been listed among Forbes’ list of ‘100 Most Powerful Women in The World’.

Gisela Stuart

Gisela Stuart - graduated 1993


Gisela Stuart, a British Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston, gained an LLB from the University of London International Programmes in 1993. Without it, she says she would never have become an MP. She recalls the graduation ceremony at London’s Barbican Centre as being ‘one of the most moving and magnificent experiences of my life’. She was elected in 1997 and was a junior health minister until 2001. Stuart, who was born and raised in Germany, sat on the European Convention’s 13-strong steering group.

Derek Walcott

Sir Derek Walcott - graduated 1953

Nobel Prize for Literature

Our second graduate to win the Nobel Prize for Literature was the Honorable Derek Walcott, a Saint Lucian writer and visual artist. He is considered the foremost West Indian poet and dramatist working today and was the first Caribbean person to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. Walcott received a scholarship to study at the University College of the West Indies during the ‘special relations’ period, and graduated in 1953. His extensive bibliography includes the epic poem Omeros– a retelling of the Homeric legend in a Caribbean context – and White Egrets, for which he won the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry in 2011.

Sir Derek Walcott, KCSL, OBE, OCC died 17 March 2017.

Martin Bean CBE, Honorary graduate

Martin Bean CBE

Higher Education Specialist

Martin Bean, CBE, has been Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT University since 2015. Having previously served as Vice-Chancellor of The Open University and General Manager of Microsoft’s Worldwide Education Products Group, Martin Bean has a wealth of experience in learning innovation. He has won numerous awards in the US and UK for his contribution to education and was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 United Kingdom New Year’s Honours list, for services to higher education. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of London in 2013 and holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Technology, Sydney.

Lewis Elton, Honorary graduate

Lewis Elton

Physicist and Higher Education Specialist

Born in Tubingen in Germany in 1923, Lewis Elton’s family moved to Prague in 1929 and then to the United Kingdom in 1939. Starting a Maths degree at Cambridge, his study was interrupted by the war. Following the war, in 1947 he took a correspondence course with the University of London. He went on to complete a PhD in Physics with UCL in 1950.

Lewis Elton is a renowned physicist, who has been published extensively. During his early academic career, he lectured at Kings College London, later become Head of Physics at Battersea College of Technology, the forerunner of the University of Surrey.

At 35 Lewis Elton moved on to head up the Institute of Educational Technology. He was awarded a Chair of Higher Education in 1987 and became an Emeritus Professor in 1989.