by Belinda Breeze

With applications now open for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2024, 25-year-old Nhial Deng, who has helped thousands of refugees, says UAE students deserve to be recognised for their tireless work to build a better tomorrow.

The 25-year-old South Sudanese refugee Nhial Deng, who last year won the $100,000 Chegg.org Global Student Prize, has urged UAE students to apply for this year’s prize, with applications closing on Sunday 28 April.

Chegg.org partnered with the Varkey Foundation to launch a sister award to the Global Teacher Prize in 2021. Now in its fourth year, the award was created as a powerful platform to highlight incredible students who are making a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers, and society beyond.

Nhial Deng empowered over 20,000 refugees in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya through peace building, education, and entrepreneurship programs, as well as creating a safe space for young people to heal from their trauma. He was selected as the winner of the 2023 Chegg.org Global Student Prize from almost 4,000 nominations and applications from 122 countries around the world.

Nhial believes his fellow students across the UAE have made extraordinary contributions to their communities and society more widely, so deserve recognition through the Chegg.org Global Student Prize.

Nhial Deng said: “Emirati students are working tirelessly both in and out of the classroom to build a better tomorrow. Their inspirational achievements deserve international recognition and widespread celebration, which is why I strongly urge them to apply for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2024.”

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 and students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the prize. Vansh Gadhia a 17-year-old at the time student, studying at Dubai College in the UAE, was included in the top 50 shortlist for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2023. Also studying at Dubai College was Maya Bridgman who was a top 10 finalist for the prize in 2022 and in 2021 Lamya Butt, a pupil at Dubai Scholars Private School at the time, became a top 10 finalist.

Heather Hatlo Porter, Head of Chegg.org and Chief Communications Officer of Chegg, Inc., said: “2024 is set to be a landmark year as we face unparalleled global challenges. Students are keenly aware of this urgency and are taking action in every corner of the world. I encourage student change makers everywhere to apply for the 2024 Chegg.org Global Student Prize. Not only because they deserve to have their outstanding contributions recognized, but because this prize provides a powerful platform for them to share their ideas and motivate others to pursue their dreams and make a difference.”

Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation, said: “Both the Global Student Prize and the Global Teacher Prize were created to highlight the vital role education plays in crafting solutions to humanity’s greatest challenges – from climate change to global health emergencies to growing inequality. Policymakers must always remember the importance of education, and it must be top of their agenda as it is the key to facing the future with confidence.”

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.

Students can apply for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize at www.globalteacherprize.org and the closing date for applications is 28 April 2024.

The prize will be narrowed down to a Top 50 shortlist and Top 10 finalists, to be announced later in the year, helping provide worldwide recognition for high achieving students. The winner, announced later in the year, will be chosen from the top 10 finalists by the Global Student Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals.

If students are being nominated, the person nominating them will write a brief description online explaining why. The 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.