TED Prize awarded to Newcastle professor

A professor of educational technology at Newcastle University has won a $1 million (£660,000) prize for his work teaching children from India’s slums how to use the internet

February 27, 2013

Source: Campus Party Brasil

Sugata Mitra picked up the TED Prize, which is awarded by the California-based not-for-profit ideas network TED.

He follows previous winners including Bill Clinton, Jamie Oliver and Bono.

In 1999 professor Mitra pioneered an experiment called “the hole in the wall” which allowed Indian street children to use computers that were left accessible in public walls.

“During the next five years, in the course of many experiments, I learned that groups of children can complete educational objectives by themselves, using the internet, if you leave them alone,” he said.

He won the prize for submitting a “wish” that the TED network help him build an online “School in the Cloud” in India, “where children can embark on intellectual adventures by engaging and connecting with information and mentoring online”.

“My ‘wish that can inspire the world’ will enable me to further this work by involving partners across the TED network which extends across the globe. If this works, we will have an alternative system that will level the playing field,” he said.

Professor Mitra said that he would use the money to help build the school.

Chris Brink, Newcastle’s vice-chancellor, said: “This is a tremendous honour for Sugata. He has dedicated over 20 years of his research career into improving the lives and opportunities of some of the world’s poorest people through his innovations in computing.”


You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show