Hedges of the U.S. and India’s Agarwal Named Yidan Prize Laureates 2018

September 17, 2018 - 07:39
Hedges of the U.S. and India’s Agarwal Named Yidan Prize Laureates 2018

HONG KONG, CHINA- Media OutReach - 17September, 2018 - TheYidan Prize, the world's largest prize in education, announces its 2018laureates. Larry V. HEDGES has been awarded the Yidan Prizefor Education Research for his ground-breaking statistical methods formeta-analysis, while Anant AGARWAL has been granted the YidanPrize for Education Development for making education more accessible to peoplearound the world via the innovative edX open-source online platform. Inrecognition and support of their groundbreaking work, each of the laureateswill receive HK$30 million (approximately US$3.87 million), representing acombined award of HK$60 million (approximately US$7.74 million).

This year's laureates were chosen during asix-month judging process from nearly 1,000 nominations spanning 92 countriesby an independent committee led by Dr Koichiro MATSUURA, formerDirector-General of UNESCO. Mr Andreas SCHLEICHER, Director for theOECD's Directorate of Education and Skills leads the panel judging the YidanPrize for Education Research, while Ms Dorothy K. GORDON, Chair ofUNESCO IFAP, leads the panel adjudicating the Yidan Prize for EducationDevelopment. The geographical reach of nominated projects increased by nearly70% this year, indicating the continued growth of the significance of the YidanPrize on the global stage.

Dr Charles CHEN Yidan, Founder of the Yidan Prize, commented: "Icongratulate the laureates and nominees alike for their outstandingcontribution and achievements. Education should be an area of interest thatgoes beyond race, religion, economic status or country of origin. I hope everycountry and region can share the results of education research and development,facilitating more international cooperation in order to create a better worldthrough education."

A closer look at the laureates

Larry V. HEDGES, Chairman of the Department of Statistics atNorthwestern University in Chicago, developed statistical methods for meta-analysisin social, medical and biological sciences, and found innovative methods ofsynthesizing research findings across studies. His work helps policymakers,educators and the general public to see the evidence for "what works" in thefield of education, and makes it possible to take a scientific approach toimproving education for future generations. His current work includes providingadvanced training to research professionals in design, conduct and analysis oflarge-scale, randomized experiments in education.

Mr SCHLEICHER, Head, Judging Panel, Yidan Prize forEducation Research, praised Professor Hedges, the laureate of the Yidan Prizefor Education Research, for advancing evidence-based, quantitative analytics.He said: "Larry Hedges has given us new glasses for seeing what works ineducation. It's hard to improve what we cannot see and measure, and Prof.Hedges provides researchers with the tools and methods to better understand howwe can help students learn better, teachers to teach better and schools tobecome more effective. It provides a way to base educational improvements onscientific evidence. As we live in a time when misinformation is rife, and thequantity of available data is almost infinite, this work couldn't come at amore critical time.''

Anant AGARWAL is the founder and CEO of edX,an online learning destination founded by Harvard University and theMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He taught the first edX course on circuitsand electronics from MIT,which drew 155,000 students from 162 countries. Professor Agarwal foundededX in 2012 with the aim to provide access to high quality education at scale, tolearners around the world, regardless of geographiclocation, financial resources, prior academicqualifications, gender, race or other demographics. edX currentlyoffers over 2,000 online courses from more than 130 leading institutions tomore than 17 million people around the world and aims to continue increasingits reach. edX was also able to link education and employment by allowinglearners to obtain micro certificates. Today, high-achieving certificateholders gain access to job interviews at multinational IT companies. Numerouscompanies use edX to upgrade their employees' skills

Ms GORDON, Head, Judging Panel, Yidan Prize forEducation Development praised Anant AGARWAL for his pioneering work behind themassive open online course (MOOC) movement. She said: "edX gives people thetools to decide where to learn, how to learn and what to learn. It bringseducation into the sharing economy, enabling access for people who werepreviously excluded from the traditional system of education because offinancial, geographic or social constraints. It is the ultimate disruptor withthe ability to reach every corner of the world that is internet enabled,decentralizing and democratizing education.''

Dr MATSUURA commented: "We are pleased with this year's result,the second year the Yidan Prize has been awarded. Our panel is delighted to seethat the laureates' projects are helping both developed and developingcountries transform education systems today for a better tomorrow in aninnovative and sustainable manner."

Mr Kevin YEUNG Yun-hung, the Secretary for Education of theGovernment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and an honored guestat the laureates' announcement, said: "I would like to take this opportunity toexpress my gratitude to all who have made the Yidan Prize Foundation a success.It is particularly encouraging to see that the Foundation's heart and soul lieright here in Hong Kong, a valuable member of the Pacific Rim and, mostimportantly, a place that places a high value on education and research."

Honoring the laureates, sharing ideas,proposing solutions

The Yidan Prize for Education Research andthe Yidan Prize for Education Development will be awarded in Hong Kong on 9December 2018. The Honorable Mrs Carrie LAM CHENG Yuet-ngor, ChiefExecutive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, will present LarryHedges and Anant Agarwal with gold medals.

The ceremony will be followed by the YidanPrize Summit on 10 December 2018. The laureates will be joined by approximately350 practitioners, researchers, policymakers, business leaders andphilanthropists, and other global leaders in education.

During the summit, the Yidan Prize Foundationwill launch the 2018 edition of the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index(WEFFI), the first comprehensive index to evaluate inputs into educationsystems rather than outputs, such as test scores. This year's WEFFI hasexpanded its list of economies from 35 to 50, representing nearly 93% of globalGDP and 89% of the world's population.

Nominations for the next round of the YidanPrize will open in late September.

Yidan Prize for Education Research 2018 Laureate: Larry HEDGES

Yidan Prize for Education Development 2018 Laureate: Anant AGARWAL

Yidan Prize announced 2018 laureates