A-level students from across the UK were celebrated for remarkable achievements last week at the Association of Colleges' (AoC) annual Student of the Year Awards.
Now into its fifth year, the awards programme recognises excellence in academic, vocational or extra-curricular performance and are sponsored by one of the leading exam boards in England, AQA.
Winners who were deemed to have made a major contribution to their academic life, their local community or those around them were celebrated at the awards, which were presented at the AoC's annual conference in Birmingham on Wednesday (November 16th).
Eighteen-year-old Sabyha Khan was a first prize winner, having achieved exceptional A-level results to gain a place studying medicine at Cambridge University, while also leading the public speaking team at her college in Uxbridge.
"I'm quite shocked at the moment – it's a real honour and a huge award to win. I'm surprised. I am just getting started at university and into my course. It's hard work," she said.
Joe Panasiuk came second, with the 18-year-old celebrated for his young entrepreneurial skills while caring for his young sister following their mother's death.
Star of the BBC's Young Apprentice show, Mahamed Awale, 16, came third as a committed UK Youth MP, entrepreneur and ambitious A-level pupil.
Assistant director at AQA, Suzy Alderson, said that AQA is proud to sponsor the event, which represents the very best of the college sector.
"Their example inspires us, coming as they do from a range of backgrounds," she said.
"Their achievements, their contribution to college and community are a wonderful reflection of different talents and abilities."
Nearly 40 colleges comprising over 300,000 students submitted nominations for this year's awards, which were presented by chair of the AoC board, John Bingham.
Colleges in the UK educate and train more than 3.3 million people each year.