Yidan Prize Conference Series: Europe Convened at Cambridge University

Top-notch educators explored ways to tackle future challenges through education

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HONG KONG & CAMBRIDGE, UK, Mar 6, 2019 - (Media OutReach) - The Yidan Prize Foundation and Jesus College, the University of Cambridge brought globally renowned speakers to the Yidan Prize Conference Series: Europe on 4 March to discuss how education can be improved to better meet the challenges of tomorrow.

The conference debated what makes a great education, discussed the role of NGOs, assessments, EdTech and data. Findings of the 2018 Worldwide Educating For the Future Index (WEFFI), commissioned by the Yidan Prize Foundation and compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit for the second consecutive year, were presented. Speakers included:

- Dr Charles CHEN Yidan, Founder of the Yidan Prize
- Professor Stephen TOOPE, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge
- Professor Anant AGARWAL, Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate 2018
- Professor Larry HEDGES, Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate 2018
- Professor Sir Leszek BORYSIEWICZ, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge
- Dr Bo Stjerne THOMSEN, LEGO Foundation
- Dr David HALPERN, Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team and National What Works Advisor
- Nunzio QUACQUARELLI, QS Quacquarelli Symonds
- Trisha SURESH, Economist Intelligence Unit

WEFFI is the first comprehensive index that evaluates inputs into education systems rather than outputs, such as test scores. The index has expanded its list of covered economies from 35 to 50, representing nearly 93% of global GDP and 89% of the world's population. Finland, Switzerland and New Zealand are the top three performers in the index. 

WEFFI assesses the 50 economies on dozens of indicators, focusing on the policy environment (30% weight), the teaching environment (50% weight) and the socio-economic environment (20% weight). 

Nomination deadline of the Yidan Prize 2019 is 31 March, 2019 

Dr. Charles CHEN Yidan, founder of the Yidan Prize said, "Education goes beyond race, religion, economic status or country of origin. I hope the Yidan Prize Conference Series: Europe will help facilitate an actionable way forward towards a brighter, more equitable future for all. By creating WEFFI, we hope to provide a useful benchmark, helping provide data and independent analysis for policymakers and educators around the world."

Professor Stephen TOOPE, Vice-Chancellor of University of Cambridge said, "The Yidan prize provides us with an opportunity to recognise the power of education in making the world a better place, and to celebrate the role of evidence-based research in supporting that important mission. I am grateful to Jesus College for agreeing to be our hosts, bringing the Yidan conference to Europe for the second successive year. Cambridge has a long and proud history of research into the practice of education - whether through our Faculty of Education's involvement in projects overseas, or on our own doorstep, working with teachers and schools in Cambridge and the surrounding region."

Worldwide Educating For the Future Index 2018 Top 10 Performers

Economy; Score (out of 100)
Finland; 80.9
Switzerland; 80.3
New Zealand; 79.3
Sweden; 78.1
Canada; 77.9
Netherlands; 76.0
Germany; 74.8
Singapore; 74.8
France; 74.2
United Kingdom; 74.1

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, 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. 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. 

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