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Global Teacher Prize submission date extended

Inspiring teachers and students now have until 16 May to submit their application

Australian teachers and students can apply for the Global Teacher Prize 2021 and the inaugural Global Student Prize any time before Sunday, May 16.

Last year’s winner, Ranjitsinh Disale, won the US$1 million Global Teacher Prize 2020, in partnership with UNESCO, and praised Australia’s teachers and students for their courage and perseverance despite the challenges and restrictions imposed over the last year by the Covid-19 pandemic. He said:

The work of Australian teachers, moving Heaven and Earth to keep their students learning amidst the greatest threat global education has ever faced, has been truly heroic. Students too have shown great strength of character throughout the pandemic.

The two prizes recognise the inspirational work of both sides of education in Australia, because it is teachers and students who will play vital roles in Australia’s recovery. I now urge all these heroes to apply before the deadline closes.

 The Varkey Foundation has launched the Global Student Prize this year, a $50,000 sister award to the Global Teacher Prize, to create a powerful new platform to highlight the efforts of extraordinary students throughout the world that are making a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond. The 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.

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, said:

The pandemic has placed both teachers and students under tremendous pressure as education systems around the world continue to adapt to a new and unfamiliar terrain. We have therefore listened and are extending the deadline for the Global Teacher Prize and Global Student Prize to ensure all teachers and students have the time they need to get their applications in. It is now more important than ever before to hear their stories and listen to their voices. is a supporter of the Global Teacher Prize and has partnered with the Varkey Foundation to create the new Global Student Prize. Lila Thomas, Head of, said:

Students continue to show tremendous strength, focus and determination to keep learning and keep fighting for their future. They deserve huge praise and recognition for never giving up. 


With so much resting on their shoulders, we wanted to give them a little extra time to apply for The Global Student Prize, which has been launched to shine a light on their stories and listen to their voices. It is these brilliant young minds who will help build a better future for us all.

Nominations opened for this year’s awards on Tuesday 2 February, and together, the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize will tell inspirational stories from both sides of education. The prizes will shine a spotlight on the great work teachers do in preparing young people for the future and the amazing promise the brightest students are showing in their learning and far beyond.

Teachers applying for the Global Teacher Prize will be assessed on teaching practices, how they innovate to address local challenges, achieve demonstrable learning outcomes, impact the community beyond the classroom, help children become global citizens, improve the teaching profession and gain recognition from external bodies.

Students applying for the Global Student Prize will be assessed on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, how they overcome the odds to achieve, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation, and how they operate as global citizens.

Both prizes will be narrowed down to Top 50 shortlists and Top 10 finalists, to be announced later in the year, helping to raise the bar of respect for the teaching profession and provide worldwide recognition for high achieving students. The winners of both prizes will be chosen from the top 10 finalists by the Global Teacher Prize Academy made up of prominent individuals. The winners will be announced live at a ceremony later in the year. 

If teachers or students are being nominated, the person nominating them will write a brief description online explaining why.  The teacher or student being nominated will then be sent an email letting them know they’ve been nominated and inviting them to apply for the prize. Applicants can apply in English, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. 

Applicants for the Global Teacher Prize and the Global Student Prize can both apply at with the revised closing date for applications of Sunday 16 May 2021.

School News

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