Anant Agarwal has been named as a laureate of 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$30m (approximately US$3.87m), representing a combined award of HK$60m (approximately US$7.74m).
Agarwal is the 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.
“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.”
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.
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.