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Citation for Professor Anant AGARWAL, Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate 2018

Citation for Professor Anant AGARWAL, Yidan Prize for Education Development Laureate 2018

Speech by Ms Dorothy Gordon, Head, Judging Panel, Yidan Prize for Education Development

The Honorable Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Your Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, Mrs Graça Machel, The Right Honorable Gordon Brown, Esteemed Yidan Prize Laureates, Your excellencies, distinguished guests and colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to introduce Professor Anant Agarwal, whose outstanding submission captured our imaginations and led us to name him as this year’s Yidan Prize Development Laureate.

Professor Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, has drawn on his technical skills and his experience as an academic to support the creation of this exceptional, decentralised open learning platform that is already being used extensively around the world. A platform that he helped to create in partnership with MIT and Harvard University and which is designed to be open, inclusive and global.

EdX offers around 2,000 free courses from its official partners in more than 130 leading institutions in 196 countries to over 15 million global learners. In addition it is estimated that an even greater number of learners benefit from the independent use of the open platform all over

the world. Edx also provides educational researchers with a robust data package that promotes consistent improvements in online learning. And when listening to Professor Agarwal speak about his vision for the future, it’s clear he is only just getting started.

In his speech on the day edX was launched, Professor Agarwal stated his dream to educate one billion people by using the platform to provide a vital alternative to mainstream models of education, EdX opens up countless new opportunities for potential learners around the world who would otherwise struggle to access traditional sources of education.

In short, it’s hard to think of a better project to help realise Charles’ dream of improving and making education more accessible across the world. EdX succeeds empowering people to choose what they learn, when they learn, where they learn and how they learn.

Again, on behalf of the judging committee, I extend our sincere thanks and congratulations to Professor Agarwal and wish him all the very best in pursuing his important dream of democratising education for life-long learning. We will look forward to watching his continued success over the years to come.