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Candidates for the Global Student Prize will be judged on a rigorous set of criteria to identify an exceptional student, making a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.


The Global Student Prize is open to all students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an academic institution or training and skills program. Part time students as well as students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the prize. The prize is open to students in every kind of school and, subject to local laws, in every country in the world.  


Applicants for the Global Student Prize will be judged on a rigorous set of criteria to identify extraordinary students throughout the world. The Academy will look for evidence of a combination of some or all of the criteria below:  

1. Academic achievement

Academic endeavor is what defines a student, and applicants for the Global Student Prize will inevitably have a strong record of academic achievement. Although evidence of this is likely to include excellent grades in formal studies, it can also include a record of prizes won for academic or project work; research that has been published or won other recognition; an outstanding reference from a supervisor or professor (for example, outlining contributions made to group work or a seminar); grants and fellowships; or videos of high-quality scholarly presentations made by the candidate. Students will also be able to demonstrate that they have overcome obstacles to their academic growth and have persevered to fulfil their potential. 

2. Impact on your peers

Strong communities are essential to a thriving society – and our exceptional students will be those who have made a mark on their student community and changed it for the better. This may include supporting other students to continue in their studies, tutoring and mentoring your peers, or participating in college access initiatives that encourage applications from individuals in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. You may have helped other students tackle mental or physical health challenges; engaged in activism to support minority student groups; fundraised for a good cause; or simply carried out individual acts of support, courage, and generosity.

3. Making a difference in your community and beyond

The student leaders of the 21st century will embody our society’s highest values, and as such they will often be engaged in promoting wider social change. Our judges look for evidence of a demonstrable impact on wider society, which can be either local, national or international. This may encompass civic action and engagement, such as volunteering with old and young people; giving free lessons to children in the local community; working at food banks and youth centers. But it could also include working with students in other parts of the world; taking part in national and global advocacy and activism on issues such as racism, sexism, climate change, and poverty. Alternatively, it could include creating platforms for social change, getting involved in refugee assistance programs or fighting cyber bullying.

4. Overcoming the odds

In a global society that faces ever-greater challenges, determination and perseverance are essential qualities for leaders of the future. Many of today’s most exceptional students have had to overcome significant barriers to reach higher education and achieve their goals – obstacles such as severe health problems, socioeconomic disadvantage, discrimination, frequent relocation, or family difficulties. Candidates may have lived in a warzone or a region that has seen environmental disaster – or pursued their education while under refugee or asylum-seeker status. Alternatively, they may have dealt with gaps in formal study beyond their control, taken on responsibilities such as being a carer/guardian, or raised a child while studying. In each case, the candidate’s personal journey will demonstrate an indomitable spirit in the face of difficulties that might have stopped others.

5. Creativity and innovation

Innovation is at the heart of what it is to be a student, and society increasingly looks to today’s young people to create tomorrow’s new platforms, artworks, movements, and ideas. Creative endeavor can take an immense variety of forms, and therefore candidates for the Prize may submit creative contributions from any field. You may have written a novel, recorded an album, founded a theatre company or directed a film; alternatively, if you have designed an app, built a YouTube channel, recorded a podcast or become a social media influencer, these endeavors can be just as creative as the traditional arts. Equally, you may have been involved in creating a social purpose organization or some other type of service, using new technology or fresh ideas about how to connect people. Candidates will be able show that they are looking at the world afresh and lighting a spark for others to follow.

6. Fostering global citizens 

The future success of our society is entirely dependent on global citizens who can work together in the coming decades to solve the profound problems facing our world. Candidates will be passionate about the future of global co-operation, and may have shown this by working on joint projects with people in other countries (whether for pure research or for a practical aim), forging links between institutions, or taking part in exchanges. Candidates will have taken an active role in fostering cultural understanding, breaking down barriers, fighting ignorance on global issues, and using online platforms to share resources, information, and expertise. Their efforts may also have encompassed helping students in other countries to access education or improve its quality.

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