“Oscar” winners of innovation in higher education

Wharton QS Stars Awards 2014: Reimagine Education bestow the “Oscars” for innovation to institutions around the world

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In a global competition meant to inspire, and of course reward, those institutions with innovative approaches in higher ed to enhance learning and student employability, two lucky institutions were each awarded $25,000.

The “Wharton-QS Stars Awards 2014: Reimagine Education,” took place on December 9th in Philadelphia after having received submissions from 427 universities and enterprises from 43 countries. Overall, there are 21 awards judged by a panel of 25 international experts–a ‘who’s who’ of higher education, says QS.

QS Quacquarelli Symonds, publisher of the QS World University Rankings, has developed this global competition in partnership with The Wharton School SEI Center of the University of Pennsylvania to highlight innovative best practices that better meet the higher education needs for today’s diverse student body.

“QS recognizes that world university rankings cannot measure the incredible innovations in learning solutions taking place in universities and enterprises around the world,” said Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS. “’Wharton QS Stars Awards: Reimagine Education’ is our answer.  We want to shine a light on the very best learning and employability solutions around the world, for the benefit to current and the next generation of students.”

The overall award has a prize fund of US $50,000, offered by IELTS, and the judges decided it should be shared by two overall winners:

  • PaGamO, the worlds’ first multi-student social game (National Taiwan University) in which students compete to amass virtual land and wealth by answering questions correctly; they can then buy defenses to protect themselves from monsters and other competitors. This platform is popular for teaching probability in Chinese, teaching math to K-12 students in the U.S., teaching dentistry to U.S. Ivy league undergraduates, and has been adopted by a fortune 500 company to teach management and leadership.
  • PhET Interactive Simulations (University of Colorado Boulder) provides interactive animations to teach students fundamental scientific principles. Over 130 simulations have “already inspired over 45 million students around the world,” notes QS.

(Next page: Winners in other innovation categories)