Hong 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.
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.
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: Founded 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.