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Inaugural Yidan Prize Award Ceremony Honors Outstanding Contributions to Education

Inaugural Yidan Prize Award Ceremony Honors Outstanding Contributions to Education

The inaugural Yidan Prize laureates, Professor Carol S. Dweck of Stanford University, and Ms Vicky Colbert of Fundación Escuela Nueva, Colombia, were presented with the awards on Sunday, Dec 10, at the Yidan Prize 2017 Award Presentation Ceremony in Hong Kong. Each of the Yidan Prize laureates will receive HK$30 million in recognition of their distinguished contributions to global education, and to help fund their future work.

Professor Dweck, Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, received the Yidan Prize for Education Research. Her groundbreaking research on the power of the "growth mindset", based upon the belief that intelligence is not fixed and can be developed over time, has become an influential concept in the field of education.

"It is a great honor to receive the Yidan Prize for Education Research and I accept it on behalf of my extraordinary students and colleagues. It is their work as much as mine. It is critical for educators to know that we cannot nourish the mind without the heart. We cannot expect good learning - joyful and effective learning - to happen in a mind that is disconnected from the heart. And we cannot expect our students to create the world of tomorrow, the world that we hope for, without a heart-mind that connects them to each other, to the larger society, and to the planet as a whole," said Dweck

Ms Colbert, founder and director of Fundación Escuela Nueva, Colombia, was awarded the Yidan Prize for Education Development. Her project Escuela Nueva ("New School" in Spanish) has improved the quality of education at rural public schools in Colombia since the mid-1970s. The pedagogical model has also been adopted by 14 countries, reaching over 5 million children.

"I am honored and deeply moved to receive this prestigious education Yidan Prize for Education Development. The recognition that we receive through this prestigious award is a further motivation to continue our commitment to the cause of basic education of high quality for all children. At Escuela Nueva Foundation, in Colombia and many other countries of the world we work to establish affordable schools of excellent quality where children, teachers and parents are empowered to learn and contribute to a culture of peace and citizenship in their environment," Colbert said.

Presenting the awards, The Honorable Mrs Carrie Lam, GBM, GBS, Chief Executive of HKSAR, said: "The Yidan Prize gives us much to look forward to in education excellence. And for this, I am grateful to Dr Chen, the Yidan Prize Foundation and the international judging committee for their commitment to global education and educators, and for their contribution to the sustainable development of the world we live in. My congratulations again to this year's laureates, Professor Dweck and Ms Colbert, for their distinguished achievements. Working together, I know we can create a better world through education."

Dr Charles Chen Yidan, founder of the Yidan Prize, said: "The Yidan Prize aims to empower educators to transcend religion, race and nationality, to exert far-reaching, positive influence over humanity, and ultimately, to help create a better world. I hope that their practical experience and research findings can be applied more extensively, expanding their impact, and benefiting more people."

The judging committee, chaired by Dr Koichiro Matsuura, former director-general of UNESCO, comprises two independent judging panels. Professor Paul Chu Ching-wu, Professor of Physics, T.L.L Temple Chair of Science, University of Houston, leads the Yidan Prize for Education Research panel. Dorothy K. Gordon, former director-general of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, leads the Yidan Prize for Education Development panel.

About Yidan Prize - The Yidan Prize recognizes and supports change makers with forward looking innovations that create a sustainable impact on education systems, for a better future. The Prize, financed and governed by a HK$2.5 billion (US$320 million) independent trust, comprises two categories - the Yidan Prize for Education Research and the Yidan Prize for Education Development.

Each prize carries an award of HK$30 million (US$3.87 million), a cash award of HK$15 million (US$1.9 million) with HK$15 million (US$1.9 million) in project funds, and a gold medal. Through a series of initiatives, the Prize serves to provide a platform for the global community to engage in conversation around education and play a role in education philanthropy.

The Yidan Prize, the world's largest education prize, was founded by Dr Charles Chen Yidan, the core founder of Tencent Holdings Limited. For more information, please visit

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