AN inspirational graduate has been shortlisted for a top award.

Gulwali Passarlay, who came to Bolton as a young refugee to escape the Afghanistan conflict is a finalist in the first British Education Awards taking place on Monday in London.

Since arriving in Bolton, Gulwali, aged 23, has gone on to become a notable TEDx speaker, a published author, and also makes contributions to the media on the rights of refugees and to raise awareness.

Gulwali, who is still living in Bolton, has recently celebrated graduating from the University of Manchester.

He has been shortlisted in the degree category.

The awards have been launched to celebrate British education and honour students from across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland for exemplary academic and extracurricular achievement.

At the prestigious occasion students and their families, teachers, politicians, professionals and celebrities will celebrate the success of the British Education Award finalists.

Awards organiser, Amin Babor Chowdhury said: "Education has the power to change lives and in Britain there are so many ways to access it, if we choose to. This is reflected in our nominees, some of whom have overcome real adversity and personal hardship to gain their hard earned academic rewards.”

"All of our finalists have shown an exceptional level of commitment and focus to advance through learning and ensure they have the best opportunities in life. They are an example of what can be achieved, not just in terms of academic success, but as talented individuals and caring, responsible citizens. We are fortunate to have such remarkable people, as these BEA finalists are, to contribute to and help shape our society.

"We are proud to have launched this first British Education Awards to honour these individuals — they are an inspiration to us all and we hope that as BEA Ambassadors their example will encourage others to seek growth through education and learning, and to be the best that they can be."