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This month Oxford welcomed Mr Charles Chen Yidan, founder of the Yidan Prize Foundation. The visit was part of the Foundation’s world tour to promote the new Yidan Prize in Education Research and Education Development.

Mr charles chen yidan professor louise richardson and colleagues

Image (l-r): Ms Liesl Elder (Chief Development Officer, University of Oxford) , Mr Clive Ka-lun Lee (Chief Executive Officer, Yidan Prize Foundation)Mr Charles Chen Yidan (Founder, Yidan Prize Foundation), Professor Louise Richardson (Vice Chancellor, University of Oxford) and Mr Lawrence Lui (Director of global Communications, Yidan Prize Foundation).

Mr Chen and visitors from the Foundation met with the Vice Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson; Professor Roger Goodman, Head of the Social Sciences Division; and faculty in the Department of Education including Professor Jo-Anne Baird, Director of the Department; Dr Niall Winters, Associate Professor of Learning and New Technologies; Dr Therese Hopfenbeck, Associate Professor of Educational Assessment; Dr Susan James-Relly, Assistant Director of SKOPE and Professor Charles Hulme.

Mr Charles Chen and Professor Jo-Anne BairdMr Chen and his colleagues from the Foundation listened to faculty presentations on the forward-thinking work Oxford is doing in the field of education, including initiatives like the Go Girl project which introduces a group of young women from non-traditional educational backgrounds to website and app design, computer game design and coding.

The Yidan Prize will recognise individuals whose work makes profound contributions to education research and development, with the ultimate aim of creating a better world through education. Launched this year by Mr Charles Chen Yidan, it is the largest award prize in the field of education. Nominated research or projects must be future-oriented, innovative, and transformative, while achieving sustainable results.This prize is not about money. It’s about putting the spotlight on the best and brightest the world has to offer so that ground-breaking work being done by individuals will be put to use to the benefit of many." Mr Charles Chen Yidan, Founder, Yidan Prize Foundation

This prize is not about money. It’s about putting the spotlight on the best and brightest the world has to offer so that ground-breaking work being done by individuals will be put to use to the benefit of many."
Mr Charles Chen Yidan (Founder, Yidan Prize Foundation)

The prize is divided into two categories: Yidan Prize for Education Research, which recognizes outstanding research that amounts to significant contributions in education, and the Yidan Prize for Education Development, which recognizes innovative ideas that tackle pressing challenges in the field of education. The Yidan Prize Laureates will be announced in September 2017, and an award ceremony will be held the following December in Hong Kong.

Each Yidan Prize Laureate will receive a gold medal and c$3.9 million in awards, including a cash prize of c$1.9 million and a project fund of c$1.9 million.

Commenting on the prize, Mr Chen said: “Education has always been very close to my heart, there are many reasons to have this view. The first one is how I was brought up, my grandmother attached great importance to education although she was illiterate but she managed to send my father to university so education transformed my father’s life and my life indirectly. I have also been involved in a lot of charity work related to education and through the years I have gained a deeper understanding of Chinese traditional culture, I realised how education can promote humankind’s progress and act as a source to resolve a lot of problems.

Mr Charles Chen Yidan, Professor Roger Goodman, Professor Jo-Anne Baird and colleagues from the Yidan Prize Foundation and the Department of Education at Oxford.

“I have been involved in a lot of philanthropy and projects but they’re limited to the people that they can reach. Just over three years ago, I wrote in my diary ‘Establish a prize that goes beyond religion, race and nationality.’ This prize is not about money. It’s about putting the spotlight on the best and brightest the world has to offer so that ground-breaking work being done by individuals will be put to use to the benefit of many. We’re seeking ideas that are innovative, sustainable, transformative and that look to the future.”

Professor Roger Goodman added: “I was truly delighted to meet Mr Chen and colleagues from the Yidan Prize Foundation. We share the same priorities in terms of widening access to education and ensuring high quality education is available for all. Oxford has been making a major contribution to the field of educational studies for over 100 years. Today the Department has a world class reputation for research and public engagement, for teacher education and for its masters and doctoral programmes. The Department plays a major role in educational policy in the UK and its work with education systems overseas has created a worldwide community of faculty, students, and alumni dedicated to improving lives and expanding opportunities through the comprehensive study and effective practice of education.”