Professor Usha GOSWAMI and Sir Fazle Hasan ABED KCMG Named Yidan Prize Laureates for 2019
KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 19
September 2019 -The Yidan Prize, the world's
largest international prize in education, announces its 2019 laureates. Professor Usha GOSWAMI, Professor of Cognitive
Developmental Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom,
has been awarded the Yidan Prize for Education Research, while Sir Fazle Hasan ABED KCMG, Founder and
Chair Emeritus of Bangladesh's BRAC has been granted the Yidan Prize for
Education Development in recognition and support of their ground-breaking work.
Professor GOSWAMI's neuroscience research has made great strides in understanding brain
function, which allows educators to design different teaching pedagogy, techniques and tools to help
children with dyslexia and special needs to learn languages more effectively. As the Founder and Chair Emeritus of BRAC, the world's largest
non-governmental organization, Sir Fazle's work of innovative Play Labs allows
the poorest and the most vulnerable children to obtain high-quality and low-cost
early childhood education.
Dr Charles CHEN Yidan, Founder of the Yidan
The Yidan Prize Judging Committee: Chairman
Dr Koichiro MATSUURA (4th left), Head of the Judging Panel for the Yidan Prize
for Education Research Mr Andreas SCHLEICHER (3rd left), and Head of the
Judging Panel for the Yidan Prize for Education Development Ms Dorothy K.
GORDON (4th right)
The two laureates will receive
their awards at the Yidan Prize Awards Presentation Ceremony.
Distinguished guests from around the world will witness this memorable moment
at a widely anticipated international education event.
This year's laureates were
chosen by the Yidan Prize Judging Committee during a six-month judging process
from an overwhelming number of strong candidates to the two laureates. The
geographical reach of the nominated projects this year covers 129 countries or
regions such as China, the United States, India, the United Kingdom, Germany,
Australia, Brazil and many others, indicating the growing significance of the
Yidan Prize on the global stage.The 13 new countries on the list
include Saudi Arabia, Belarus, North Macedonia, El Salvador, Gambia, Togo,
Lesotho, Belize and others, representing a rich tapestry of different cultures
and geographic regions.
Dr. Charles CHEN Yidan , Founder of the Yidan Prize, expressed his heartfelt thanks to the
Yidan Prize Judging Committee for their completion of the judging process in
Hong Kong. He said: "I congratulate Professor Usha GOSWAMI and Sir Fazle Hasan
ABED KCMG on their outstanding achievements and commitment to improving
education. Knowledge attainment is an area that transcends racial, religious,
economic and national boundaries, affecting everything from human health and
the environment to well-being and personal fulfilment. I hope every country and
region can benefit from the results of the best research and education
development work, helping to create a better world through education."
Dr. CHEN added, "I believe, in the future, education will continue to evolve --
alongside with technological breakthrough and social change -- and we will have
deeper understanding on education. To me, education itself is not an end goal;
it is an ongoing process to help mankind pursue long-term individual well-being
and sustainable social development."
Yidan Prize J udging Committee is led by Dr. Koichiro MATSUURA, former
Director-General of UNESCO. Mr. Andreas SCHLEICHER, Director for the
OECD's Directorate of Education and Skills, heads the panel judging the Yidan
Prize for Education Research, while Ms. Dorothy K. GORDON, Chair of
UNESCO IFAP, leads the panel judging the Yidan Prize for Education Development.
Dr. MATSUURA , Chairman of Yidan Prize Judging Committ ee commented: "This is the third year the Yidan Prize has been awarded
and we are pleased with the result. Our Committee is delighted to see that the
laureates' inspiring projects are helping transform education in different
communities, improving learning in a meaningful and sustainable manner."
Professor Usha GOSWAMI , Laureate of Yidan Prize for
Education Research, is a world-leading researcher in the fields of literacy,
neuroscience and education. She is Professor of Cognitive Developmental
Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St John's College
Cambridge. Her research has identified the importance of children's awareness
of linguistic rhythm patterns for their reading acquisition, and has also
revealed the brain basis of rhythm perception, showing how this neural process
is impaired in developmental dyslexia.
Mr. SCHLEICHER , Head of the Judging Panel
for the Yidan Prize for Education Research praised Professor GOSWAMI for her ground-breaking research. He said: "Professor
GOSWAMI is a highly respected scholar who has been visionary in her approach
and impactful in the field. Thanks to her work, educators can now understand
how children's phonological awareness underpins reading development and
dyslexia across languages -- at the cognitive, the behavioural, the sensorial
and the neural levels. GOSWAMI's work has made great strides in understanding
brain function and brain development, which has far-reaching implications for
people's wellbeing in later life and their participation in society. Her
research has laid the groundwork for helping every child succeed. It has
allowed passionate educators to arm themselves with the scientific
understanding of how different children learn, so that teachers can embrace
that diversity with differentiated pedagogical practice and make educational
success predictable, scalable and sustainable."
In 1972, Sir Fazle Hasan ABED KCMG, Laureate of Yidan Prize for Education
Development, founded BRAC, an international organization with a focus on
empowering the poor, especially women and girls, to achieve their full
potential through education. Since then, BRAC has grown to be one of the most
effective development organizations in the world, working each year with over 100
million people globally.
Ms. GORDON ,Head of the Judging Panel
for the Yidan Prize for Education Development congratulated Sir Fazle Hasan ABED
Founder and Chair Emeritus of BRAC on his remarkable and distinguished career. She
said: "As a hugely influential and visionary leader of BRAC for over four
decades, Sir Fazle has remained true to his goal: to empower the poor to
alleviate poverty. BRAC has revolutionized how marginalized children from
resource-poor communities learn, giving thousands of children between the age
of 3 to 5 the opportunity to benefit from the latest research in how brains
develop and providing them with a solid foundation for their further education.
BRAC's interventions are part of a historic movement to end extreme poverty --
led by those directly affected and amplified by those who care. A movement to
ensure that 'no one is left behind' in the true spirit of the United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)."
Honoring the laureates and
The third edition of the Yidan
Prize for Education Research and the Yidan Prize for Education Development will
be awarded in December. The ceremony will be followed by the Yidan Prize Summit
and the Y idan Prize Conference Series: Asia-Pacific. The laureates will be joined
by hundreds of practitioners, researchers, policymakers, business leaders and philanthropists
from around the world, who will come together to share ideas and find solutions
to apply the best global practices to their local communities.
Nominations for the next round
of the Yidan Prize will open in early October .
Yidan Prize Laureates 2019
for Education Research
Professor Usha GOSWAMI
Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate 2019
Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience
at the University of Cambridge
Professor Usha GOSWAMI is a world-leading researcher
in the fields of literacy, neuroscience and education. She is Professor of Cognitive
Developmental Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St
John's College Cambridge. Professor GOSWAMI founded and serves as Director of
the world's first Centre for Neuroscience in Education. Her research has
identified the importance of children's awareness of linguistic rhythm patterns
for their reading acquisition, and has also revealed the brain basis of rhythm perception,
showing how this neural process is impaired in developmental dyslexia. These
discoveries are enabling transformative educational interventions that have the
potential to benefit millions of children worldwide.
Professor GOSWAMI was elected
a Fellow of the British Academy in 2013, and has won a range of international
prizes for her research. She has given talks on neuroscience and learning in numerous countries' governments and organizations , has published 8 books and over 180 research papers, and has written
widely for educators and for the public.
for Education Development
Sir Fazle Hasan ABED KCMG
Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate 2019
Founder and Chair Emeritus of BRAC
Sir Fazle Hasan ABED KCMG is
the Founder and Chair Emeritus of BRAC, ranked by Geneva-based 'NGO Advisor' as
the number one NGO in the world in 2019 for the fourth consecutive year based
on its innovation, impact and governance. Established in 1972, and operating
across 11 countries in Africa and Asia, BRAC's primary objectives are
alleviating poverty and empowering the poor.
Sir Fazle has been honoured
with numerous national and international awards for his achievements in leading
BRAC. In 2009, Sir Fazle was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St.
Michael and St. George by the British Crown in recognition of his services to
reducing poverty in Bangladesh and internationally.
About the Yidan Prize
in 2016 by Dr. Charles CHEN Yidan, a core founder of Tencent, the Yidan Prize
has a mission of creating a better world through education. It consists of two
awards, the Yidan Prize for Education Research and the Yidan Prize for
Education Development. Yidan Prize Laureates each receives a gold medal and a
total sum of HK$30 million (around US$3.9 million), half of which is a cash
prize while the other half is a project fund. To ensure transparency and
sustainability, the prize is managed by Yidan Prize Foundation and governed by
an independent trust with an endowment of HK$2.5 billion (around US$323
million). Through a series of initiatives, the prize aims to establish a
platform for the global community to engage in conversation around education
and to play a role in education philanthropy.