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

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


This year's laureates were chosen during a
six-month judging process from nearly 1,000 nominations spanning 92 countries
by an independent committee led by Dr Koichiro MATSUURA, former
Director-General of UNESCO. Mr Andreas SCHLEICHER, Director for the
OECD's Directorate of Education and Skills leads the panel judging the Yidan
Prize for Education Research, while Ms Dorothy K. GORDON, Chair of
UNESCO IFAP, leads the panel adjudicating the Yidan Prize for Education
Development. The geographical reach of nominated projects increased by nearly
70% this year, indicating the continued growth of the significance of the Yidan
Prize on the global stage.


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


A closer look at the laureates


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


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


Anant AGARWAL is the founder and CEO of edX,
an online learning destination founded by Harvard University and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He taught the first 
edX course on circuits
and electronics from MIT
,
which drew 155,000 students from 162 countries. Professor Agarwal founded
edX in 2012 with the aim to provide access to high quality education at scale, to
learners around the world, regardless of geographic
location, financial resources, prior academic
qualifications, gender, race or other demographics. edX currently
offers over 2,000 online courses from more than 130 leading institutions to
more than 17 million people around the world and aims to continue increasing
its reach. edX was also able to link education and employment by allowing
learners to obtain micro certificates. Today, high-achieving certificate
holders gain access to job interviews at multinational IT companies. Numerous
companies use edX to upgrade their employees' skills


Ms GORDON, Head, Judging Panel, Yidan Prize for
Education Development praised Anant AGARWAL for his pioneering work behind the
massive open online course (MOOC) movement. She said: "edX gives people the
tools to decide where to learn, how to learn and what to learn. It brings
education into the sharing economy, enabling access for people who were
previously excluded from the traditional system of education because of
financial, geographic or social constraints. It is the ultimate disruptor with
the 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 see
that the laureates' projects are helping both developed and developing
countries transform education systems today for a better tomorrow in an
innovative and sustainable manner."


Mr Kevin YEUNG Yun-hung, the Secretary for Education of the
Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and an honored guest
at the laureates' announcement, said: "I would like to take this opportunity to
express 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 lie
right here in Hong Kong, a valuable member of the Pacific Rim and, most
importantly, a place that places a high value on education and research."


Honoring the laureates, sharing ideas,
proposing solutions

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


The ceremony will be followed by the Yidan
Prize Summit on 10 December 2018. The laureates will be joined by approximately
350 practitioners, researchers, policymakers, business leaders and
philanthropists, and other global leaders in education.


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


Nominations for the next round of the Yidan
Prize 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

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