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Wenhui (文 晖) Award for Educational Innovation 2013

Educational Innovation for Cultural Expression

*** Results for the 2013 Award ***

Culture is …

…a source of identity, innovation and creativity.

…a set of distinctive spiritual and material, intellectual and emotional features of a society or a social group.

…a complex web of meanings, relationships, beliefs, and values that frames people’s relationship to the world.

UNESCO, The Power of Culture for Development

Culture, in all its multiple forms, permeates all aspects of our lives by defining the way we live and interact at the individual, local, national, regional and global levels. Cultural diversity is manifested in the way cultural elements – customs, traditions, religions, social standards, laws. languages, arts, architecture, attires and so on – are expressed, augmented and transmitted within and among groups and societies, and across time and space from one generation to another.

Recognizing that cultural diversity creates a rich and varied world, increases the range of choices and nurtures human capacities and values, and therefore is a mainspring for sustainable development for communities, peoples and nations, the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions was adopted by UNESCO in 2005 to create the conditions for cultures to flourish and to freely interact in a mutually beneficial manner. With mandates in both culture and education, UNESCO is in a unique position to emphasize the fundamental role that education plays in supporting people and communities in expressing their cultures through a variety of expressions.

Emphasizing the potential of education and the human innovative spirit to address and resolve pressing issues and problems, the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) and the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO have jointly established the Wenhui (文 晖) Award for Educational Innovation.

The Wenhui Award embodies two important elements of educational innovation. Wen (文) refers to all facets of civilization and culture, including wisdom, knowledge, moral and ethics, and encompasses the desire for learning and inquiry. Hui (晖) symbolizes the creative and radiant force of education that allows civilization and culture to flourish. Taken together, the Wenhui Award personifies the power of education in promoting learning and allowing individuals and cultures to innovate and grow.

This Award will serve to improve the access to and quality of education and training, especially to those most in need. Given the challenges facing education, it is necessary to strengthen the commitment of individuals and institutions to continuously innovate and enlighten people now and in the future.

For 2013, the theme of the Wenhui Award is Educational Innovation for Cultural Expression to emphasize the importance of values, traditions and practices being transmitted from one generation to another through a variety of expressions including, but not limited to, visual arts, performing arts, tangible and intangible culture and heritage, indigenous knowledge and crafts in formal and non-formal education, community-based initiatives, adult/continuing education projects, and so on.

The winners and awardees of Certificates of Merit will be selected by a jury of distinguished educators from the Asia-Pacific region. The results will be announced through a variety of channels to share the achievements of the winners and awardees.

What are the objectives of the Award?

The specific objectives of the Award are to:

  • Value and encourage pioneering innovative practices in education that have helped to promote and enhance the expressions of diverse cultures;

  • Recognize the contributions of individuals or institutions which have improved the quality of teaching and learning in enhancing the expressions of cultures;

  • Foster indigenous wisdom and ingenuity in educational innovations.

What is in the Award?

The Award shall be conferred on two individuals or institutions in recognition of their commitment and outstanding efforts in the development of educational innovations according to the theme of the year. The two winners will receive a Certificate of Excellence and prize money of US$ 20,000 each at the Hangzhou International Conference on Educational Innovations. Certificates of Merit may also be awarded to individuals or institutions that have demonstrated commendable innovative practices.

Who is eligible for the Award?

Individuals or institutions from UNESCO Member States in Asia and the Pacific region that have designed and implemented significant educational innovation leading to improved access to, and quality in, education will be eligible for the Award.

To qualify for nomination for the 2013 Wenhui Award, the candidates shall possess the following qualifications or attributes:

  • Have demonstrated their ability in developing innovative practices that have enhanced educational contents, pedagogies, skills and knowledge to enable the expressions of diverse cultures.

  • Have verified the positive impact of their innovations in education in bringing about noticeable changes in values, mindsets and practices about cultural diversity and sustainable development for communities, peoples and nations.

  • Have proven their commitment in promoting and translating the principles of the cultural diversity and sustainable development into action; and

  • Have established that their innovative practices are current and relevant to the educational issues of the 21st century.

What are the evaluation criteria?

The emphasis of the Wenhui Award is on innovations in education, not scientific inventions. In line with the theme of the 2013 Award, Educational Innovation for Cultural Expression, innovations that can demonstrate real changes in values, mindsets, practices and behaviours will be positively assessed. More specifically, the entries will be evaluated according to selected criteria reflecting the including but not limited to the following:

  • Uniqueness and originality of the innovation

  • Timeliness and relevance of the innovation

  • Success and impact of the innovation

  • Leadership and management of the innovation

  • Quality of the supporting evidence

  • Innovative use of available resources

  • Potential for replication of the innovation

  • Sustainability of the innovation

How to apply for the Award?

The Award organizers are calling for nominations from governments, educational institutions, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and individuals in Asia and Pacific countries following the procedure below.

  • Nominations shall be submitted to the Award Secretariat at UNESCO Bangkok through the National Commissions for UNESCO, UNESCO Offices and other organizations associated with UNESCO, using an official Award Application Form available online at

  • Each nomination must be accompanied by the following attachments:

    • Description of the candidate’s/institution’s background and achievements (1 page, A4 size, in English)

    • Summary of work, publications and other relevant documents of major importance (maximum of 4 pages, A4 size, in English)

    • Evidence to support the nomination of the candidate (may be in English or local language)

    • Letter(s) of recommendation (in English or local languages)

    • Consent form for use and distribution of materials

  • All nominations must reach the Award Secretariat by 1 July 2013. Please check with your nomination agency on the status of your submission.

  • For list of UNESCO offices, see

  • For list of National Commissions for UNESCO in the Asia-Pacific region, see

Conditions of entry

  • All entries must be from the Asia-Pacific region.

  • The work must be attested to be authentic and original.

  • The innovation must be current or initiated in the last five years.

  • Shortlisted entries may be asked to supply more documents or evidence, if necessary.

  • All entries must be accompanied by evidence that supports the nomination.

  • All nominees will be responsible for the delivery of their materials to their respective nomination agencies and for checking that their materials are received by the Award Secretariat.

  • All submissions will be taken to imply the granting of permission to publish all materials and particulars, without charge to UNESCO.

  • All nominees must complete the consent form available online at the Award website permitting UNESCO to publish and share their work, on the understanding that the work will be fully acknowledged and credited to the relevant individuals or institutions stated in the nomination forms.

  • All materials submitted will not be returned.

  • The jury’s decision is final and correspondence will not be entered into.

About the Organizers

The Asia-Pacific Region counts for almost two thirds of the world population. In serving the 46 Member States and 2 Associate Members in the region, UNESCO has to take into account the diversity of the countries in terms of their size, culture, socio-economy status and environment. Supported by a network of a Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok, a Regional Bureau for Science in Jakarta, five Cluster Offices (Almaty, Apia, Beijing, New Delhi and Tehran), and seven National Offices (Dhaka, Hanoi, Islamabad, Kabul, Kathmandu, Phnom Penh and Tashkent), UNESCO works to promote peace and human development through education, sciences, culture and communication, by facilitating international co-operation, setting common standards and fostering the dissemination of information.

The Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) is a regional inter-country cooperative programme based in the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok, Thailand. APEID’s mission is to contribute to sustainable human development through the design and implementation of educational programmes and projects, mainly at the post-primary level of education and focusing on educational innovation for development.

The National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO was established in February 1979. It acts as an agency of consultation, liaison and information, in addition to mobilizing and coordinating partnerships with civil society to contribute to the realization of UNESCO’s objectives and implementation of its programmes.

The China Hangzhou International Conference on Educational Innovations was launched in 2003 in Xiacheng District, Hangzhou, to commemorate the achievements Xiacheng has made in educational innovations. Held every year since then, the Conference has become a formal event of the West Lake Expo, attracting participants from all over the world.