AN inspirational graduate missed out on a top award — but was still able to raise awareness of the plight of refugees.

Gulwali Passarlay was shortlisted in the first British Education Awards (BEA), recognising his remarkable journey as a refugee arriving in the UK at the age of 12 to graduating at one of the country’s leading universities.

Now, still living in Bolton after being fostered by a family in Lostock as a child, the Manchester University graduate works to raise awareness of refugees.

He 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.

At the inaugural awards presentation in London, Gulwali, aged 23, was presented with a certificate for being shortlisted in the degree category, receiving a huge cheer from the audience as he collected it on stage.

Organisers said they were pleased to be able draw attention to Gulwali’s remarkable story and the work he is dong to highlight the plight of refugees.

The awards were hosted by BBC news presenter Sophie Long and were launched to celebrate British education and honour students from across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland for exemplary academic and extracurricular achievement. All 67 British Education Award Finalists received a framed certificate.

Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner and entertainment from Britain’s Got Talent star musician Henry Gallagher, comedian Mani Liaqat and violinist Jessica Crabtree.

British Education Awards organiser Amin Chowdhury said: “It is satisfying to see so many people from such diverse backgrounds attending this event, we are overwhelmed by the response from our BEA Finalists, their families and the schools, colleges and universities represented.

“British Education Awards 2017 has been a huge triumph and we wish our first BEA finalists and winners every success in their future studies and career paths.”