Daniel McKay receiving his award at the 2014 ceremony.

Two ANU students have been named overall winners in their respective subject areas in the prestigious world Undergraduate Awards. Matilda Gillis took out the overall winner award in the Law category, and Weng Kin San in the Philosophy and Theology category.

The Undergraduate Awards, based in Ireland, are the largest academic awards program in the world and celebrates the world’s best and most innovative undergraduate students. The awards are open to all penultimate and final year students in the top universities in the world, and students submit up to three pieces of course research or project work. Winners are chosen for their innovation in their subject areas, for ‘creating world-class research to tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges’.

Gillis is in her fifth year of an Arts/Law degree and said she was really surprised and excited to have won the prestigious award. The essay she submitted was on the subject of violence against women and women’s human rights, and Gillis said she was particularly pleased the essay did well because it’s a topic she cares a lot about.

San was also pleased to have won in his category, saying that Philosophy was an area he cares a lot about and hoped to do in the future.

Both students will have their work published in the Undergraduate Journal, circulated internationally, and will be flown to Dublin to accept their awards and for a three day summit with the other winners from around the world in November.

Gillis said her motivation for entering was hearing about ANU student Daniel McKay, who won in the History category last year.

Daniel McKay was the only ANU student to receive a prize in the Undergraduate Awards in 2014. His winning essay was on political responses to drought throughout Australian history and how that changed according to what people thought of the environment.

Another 10 ANU students received high commendations, and ANU was ranked in the top 10 overall across all subject areas in the Awards.