Skip to content

Recipients to travel to Hong Kong to receive their awards at the Yidan Prize Award Presentation Ceremony in December

2019 Yidan Prize Laureates

Hong Kong, September 18, 2019 – The third annual Yidan Prize awards were announced today, and the recipients are being recognized for the work they have done in the field of early childhood learning and development. Hundreds of nominees from 129 different countries were considered over a six-month judging period led by outside independent experts in the field.

Yidan Prize for Education Research

Professor Usha Goswami, Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of St John’s College Cambridge, Founder and Director of the world’s first Centre for Neuroscience in Education is the recipient of the Yidan Prize for Education Research. Professor Goswami’s work focuses on how children’s phonological awareness underpins reading development and dyslexia across languages. Mr Andreas Schleicher, Director for the OECD’s Directorate of Education and Skills, headed the panel judging the Yidan Prize for Education Research and praised Professor Goswami for her ground-breaking research. “Professor 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.”

Yidan Prize for Education Development

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG, Founder and Chair Emeritus of BRAC, an NGO operating across 11 countries in Africa and Asia with the aim of alleviating poverty and empowering the poor is the recipient of the Yidan Prize for Education Development. His organization BRAC has created an innovative project called PlayLab to revolutionize how marginalized children from resource-poor communities learn. Ms Dorothy K. Gordon, Chair of UNESCO IFAP, led the panel adjudicating the Yidan Prize for Education Development and said, “Thanks to PlayLab, thousands of children aged 3 and 5 now have access to quality and affordable community-led education in Bangladesh, Tanzania and Uganda. The PlayLab projects are highly scalable and make use of international assessment tools in combination with tools developed in the context of the project to demonstrate their efficacy.”

Yidan Prize Summit and Conference Series

Dr Charles Chen Yidan, Founder of the Yidan Prize, commented: “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 fulfillment. 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.”

The third edition of the Yidan Prize Summit will take place in Hong Kong on 1 December 2019. Each laureate will receive a gold medal and a total sum of HK$30 million (approximately US $3.9 million). Half of this is a cash prize, while the other half is a project fund. The ceremony will be followed by the Yidan Prize Summit on 2 December 2019 and the Yidan Prize Conference Series: Asia-Pacific on 3 December 2019 in Hong Kong. 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. To learn more about the Yidan Prize Foundation, please visit


Have a question? Let us know a little bit about you. Our enrollment advisors are here to answer your questions about programs, applying for a student visa and more.