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BSB student Oleksandra honoured at 2023 Independent School of the Year Awards

Inspirational young scientist wins Rising Star Award

In a remarkable celebration of academic achievement and personal growth, inspirational young BSB scientist Oleksandra has been honoured with the coveted Rising Star award at the 2023 Independent School of the Year Awards.

The Rising Star award is awarded annually to a student currently attending a UK independent school or British International School who has achieved exceptional success in various aspects of their academic and personal lives. This award values not only academic excellence but also resilience, a humanitarian approach, and contributions that positively impact the school and broader community.

Oleksandra, one of the 50 students who joined BSB after fleeing the war in her home country of Ukraine, has shown all these qualities and many more since becoming a member of our school community. Not only has she inspired her fellow students at BSB and made her teachers incredibly proud but has also continued to support young scientists in her homeland and collaborate with peers globally.

A young star of the global scientific community

Remarkably, at just 16 years old, Oleksandra has been conducting postgraduate-level research in astrophysics and her research CV would be impressive for an undergraduate student. She has co-authored two peer-reviewed journal articles and is the lead author on an upcoming peer-reviewed publication of her own.

Working at a level beyond her years, she maintains regular communication with PhD students worldwide, having participated in numerous young scientist conferences where she presented her research alongside PhDs, post-doctoral researchers, professors, and undergraduate students.

While Oleksandra is a shining light and rising star at BSB, she is still very actively engaged with her home country and is completing her Ukrainian diploma simultaneously during her studies here at BSB.

She is also a member of New UA Astronomy Renaissance, an organisation for improving Astronomy education and science in Ukraine. As a part of this organisation, she has created tests for courses on variable stars, and teaches ten high-school and university students how to undertake research in eclipsing binaries based on TESS telescope data.

Oleksandra’s journey to excellence has not been without its challenges, and she has overcome adversity with unwavering determination and grace. This resilience, coupled with her dedication to her studies, has been recognised and celebrated through the Rising Star award.

An embodiment of BSB’s values and ethos

Oleksandra’s journey to winning this award also embodies the values and ethos of The British School of Brussels. Her story is a testament to the nurturing and supportive environment that BSB provides for its students. The school’s humanitarian approach, sense of belonging, and emphasis on fostering a supportive community have played an instrumental role in her continuing the academic excellence she displayed in Ukraine. She has been welcomed into the BSB family with open arms and has thrived in the climate of care and respect that the school is renowned for. The British School of Brussels has given her the support and platform to shine, and her journey exemplifies the values and culture that makes BSB an educational force for good.

“Oleksandra is a superlative student and truly remarkable young woman,” said BSB Principal Melanie Warnes. ” I am incredibly proud of her and she so deserves this global recognition of her and her achievements.”


In a world where academic success is not the sole measure of a student’s worth, Oleksandra’s recognition as a global Rising Star serves as a reminder of the importance of character, resilience, and community. Her story will undoubtedly inspire future generations of students to reach for the stars and beyond, guided by the same principles of dedication, compassion, and community that have propelled her to this well-deserved recognition.

Congratulations, Oleksandra, on your remarkable achievement! You are an inspiration to us all, and we look forward to witnessing your continued success and amazing contributions to the world.

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