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Wharton - QS Stars Awards 2014 Reimagine Education

Winners announced for the “Oscars” of innovation in higher education www.reimagine-education.com @ReimagineHEdu #Reimagine



Wharton-QS Stars Awards 2014

Reimagine Education
Winners announced for the “Oscars” of innovation in higher education
www.reimagine-education.com @ReimagineHEdu   #Reimagine

Philadelphia, December 10th: The Wharton-QS Stars Awards 2014: Reimagine Education took place on December 9th in Philadelphia. The global competition received submissions from 427 universities and enterprises from 43 countries with 21 awards judged by a panel of 25 international experts – a ‘who’s who’ of higher education.

QS Quacquarelli Symonds, publisher of the QS World University Rankings, has developed this global competition to identify the most innovative approaches in higher education to enhance learning and student employability, in partnership with The Wharton School SEI Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

The overall award has a prize fund of US$ 50,000, offered by IELTS, and the judges decided it should be shared by two overall winners:

  • PaGamO, the worlds' first-ever multi-student social game (National Taiwan University) in which students compete to amass virtual land and wealth by answering questions correctly and can then buy defences to protect themselves from monsters and other competitors. This highly engaging platform is popular for teaching probability in Chinese, teaching maths to K12 students in the USA , teaching dentistry toUS Ivy league undergraduates and has been adopted by a fortune 500 company to teach management and leadership

  • PhET Interactive Simulations (University of Colorado Boulder) provides a collection of free interactive simulations to teach students fundamental principles of science and math. Over 130 stunning and engaging simulations have already inspired millions of students, with over 75 million uses per year around the world. http://phet.colorado.edu


Winners of other Wharton-QS Star Awards 2014, include:

Enterprise  Awards


Driving Student Engagement through Accountability

For Class Ltd.


Students learn better when they are engaged – both in the course content and class discussion. Engagement remains a constant struggle for professors across disciplines. ForClass has developed a solution: a single tool that drives student engagement through accountability, while streamlining content distribution, student assessment and classroom management for faculty – the first and only tool to combine these three elements.

Runner up

African Management Initiative



The African Management Initiative, AMI, is a pan-African social enterprise that empowers African managers & entrepreneurs through practical as well as accessible learning and                         coaching tools. They have developed the first online social learning platform in Africa, designed for an African context – low on bandwidth and with mobile in mind, partnering with Africa’s top business schools and practitioners to develop world class content.

3rd place =

Labster: Virtual Laboratory



In teaching science, one meets challenges like, the high number of students combined with budget limitations, high failure rates in passive learning such as lectures, expensive laboratory costs, and low learning efficiencies with cookbook methods. At Labster these problems are circumvented by introducing students to a virtual laboratory, in which they are invited to investigate and resolve life science case stories.
This 3D virtual laboratory is built                   based on real life topics that students can easily relate to, and can be used by teachers as a supplement or an alternative teaching method.

3rd place =

Career Exploration:
The Gamification of an
Undergraduate Sport Management

North Carolina State University


The Gamification Module created within Moodle, an open source learning management          system, was designed to actively engage as well as motivate students while improving their academic achievement and satisfaction with a distance education undergraduate course in sport management. This has been designed to assist students in the process of making career choices and developing the skills required for career advancement.

E-Learning Awards

Winner =

PaGamO, the worlds' first-ever multi-student social gaming

National Taiwan University


As the first-ever MOOC made in Chinese, this is a multi-student social gaming platform called ‘PaGamO’. This platform allows thousands of students to compete on the same map by occupying territory through problem solving.  Not only can one win land, but one can have problem based battles with others, creating monsters, and taking other students land. This                         program is easily adapted to insert problems from any subject matter or language to facilitate learning.

Winner =

PhET Interactive Simulations

University of Colorado Boulder


Designed to address the need to improve K-20 science education for US and world, as numerous reports call to increase the number of students pursuing technical fields and prepare graduates to enter the technical workforce, and lead technical innovation. PhET has developed over 130 research-based interactive simulations, emphasizing connections to the real world, make the invisible visible, and include the visual models scientist use.  They are easily translated and able to be run both on or offline.

Runner up

Studio by Purdue

Purdue University


Dedicated to increasing student success by supporting the creation of technologies that          transform the student experience, Studio by Purdue empowers faculty by enabling new pedagogical strategies, communications,
and student engagement. The program prides itself in continually challenging the classroom paradigm while encouraging exploration into areas that classrooms have traditionally cut out of instruction. With broad applicability across subjects and adaptability for each course, this has change the teaching approach.

3rd place

Enhanced  E-learning through utilization of mobile learning

Yeungnam University

South Korea

Yeungnam University was the first university in Korea that started utilizing mobile learning as an alternative to take credit courses, launched in 2011. The mobile learning enabled students to take and review their courses anywhere and at any time with smart phones. In last three years, 958 mobile-based courses have been offered and 160,355 students from 95 different universities have been taking these for credit transfer.

Hybrid Learning Award


Developing & Stimulating Young Engineers: Simulations, Collaborations, & Creations

University of Utah


The early learning curriculum has been transformed through the implementation of a new freshman design laboratory, coupling online content & simulations, engaging lectures, as well as proven hands-on, collaborative techniques.  The course features a blend of different project and assignment forms, including a collaborative project between freshmen and seniors, which is designed to assist students into eventual employment and progress.

Runner up =

"Principles of Policy Analysis"

blended course

Delft University of Technology


The design of this course leverages cutting edge technology, innovative educational methodologies, and extensive student input to transform students’ learning experiences. Students become intricately linked to the design of their own learning journeys, with a level of teacher interaction that directly responds to student difficulties in the moment. Students take responsibility for their own education, and the level of student success as well as satisfaction has risen has a result.

Runner up=

Blended MOOC and On-campus learning

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology / Hong Kong Virtual University Program

Hong Kong

The program was established in 2005 with the goal of creating a virtual campus that is able to provide students around the world with the broad range of course possibilities offered by universities in Hong Kong.
 It is designed to improve the transition to higher education, offer a range of classes not available at one’s home institutions, give graduates a variety of lifelong learning opportunities, and provide feedback to teachers.

3rd place

Case based collaborative learning

Harvard University


Case Based Collaborative Learning (CBCL) expands upon the characteristics and goals of             team based learning, accomplishing student readiness, individual testing and group consensus. This is done through case presentations generating student responses, questions prior to the students’ class attendance, and group evaluations requiring one answer to be given. This stems from the idea of guided exploration with hypothesis generation.

Presence Learning Award


Learning through interdisciplinary science research

McMaster University


The 4-year Honours Integrated Science (iSci) program instructional and administrative teams have collaborated, with student involvement, to design and implement an innovative program of research-focused interdisciplinary education that produces scientists skilled in research and communication and ready to enter a range of professional fields. The result is an exciting and innovative program focused on student learning instead of teaching, a program focused on outcomes instead of administrative limitations.

Runner up

Extreme Learning Process

Tsinghua University


Extreme Learning Process (XLP) is a trans-disciplinary learning activity design methodology that organizes learners from different disciplines to design and execute learning activities for other learners. It leverage modern ITC infrastructures to empower learners by giving them access to open source technologies, Cryto-currencies, and Distributed Version Control Systems to keep track of

participants’ contributions, conflicts, and learning outcomes throughout learning activities on a global basis.

3rd place

The Global Understanding Program

East Carolina University


The Global Understanding Program uses innovative technology based learning strategies to provide access to first hand, real-time international experiences to the 98% of East Carolina University (ECU) students who do not take advantage of study abroad options. Our activities provide students both here and at our 58 partner institutions in 30 countries on five continents the opportunity to develop essential skills necessary to succeed in a global, multicultural society. Through working on collaborative projects, students learn essential leadership skills such as the ability to work and develop a joint product in a cross-cultural environment, adaptability, self-awareness and empathy.  

Nurturing Employability Award


Enhancing Engineering Education for 21st century Employability

Politecnico di Milano


In 2011, a new educational strategy was created in order to maintain a high level of employability as well as reputation in a globalized work environment. Now fully implemented, this strategy is based on traditional technical skills, cross-cultural skills, cross-disciplinary innovation, and a sense of developed social responsibility.  This is then implemented through internationalisation of curriculum, strategic partnerships with companies, and a blended learning experience.

Runner up

Accelerating Medical Innovation and Careers: MILI Global Valuation Laboratory

University of Minnesota


While new medical technologies can save lives, the biggest hurdles are the need for a market. The purpose of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute Valuation Lab at the Carlson School speeds time to market by having students, inventors, and entrepreneurs conduct market valuation, product viability testing, intellectual property assessment, and strategy recommendations for new medical technologies. This helps not only students learn the process through a hands on process, but helps the medical industry as well.

3rd place

The HealthFusion Team Challenge; Building Stronger Healthcare

Queensland University of Technology


This challenge is geared as an internationally recognised, extracurricular competition based in Australia for senior students in the health sciences. This gives students about to merge into the field an opportunity to develop and demonstrate expertise in teamwork and realistic scenarios that must be solved. Students from 20 different health disciplines work in teams over a sustained period.

Teaching Delivery Award


Burkenroad Reports

Tulane University


This project demonstrates that small teams of college students have the potential to generate equity research of the same quality of Wall Street. Here, students are turned into real world research analysts concerning ‘Stocks under Rocks’ or those small capitalization companies that are often overlooked by big research firms. Students create comprehensive reports on small publicly traded companies in the US south, developing finance models, competitive analysis, forecasts, and investment recommendations.

Runner up

Beyond  Traditional Borders

Rice University


Inspired by the Haitian saying, “You do not learn to swim in the library, and you learn to swim in the river.” The curriculum is designed to develop leaders by giving students the opportunities to solve real problems and put their own ideas into action. Students become engineering leaders who can identify the most important technology challenges; lead multi-disciplinary teams, and implement entrepreneurial approaches for sustainability.


Towards a Visual and Tangible Mathematics

Tec De Monterrey


The only way that Mathematics can be conceived is through different representations and applications. Within technology there is the opportunity to create a way to interact with myriad representations of mathematics both in and out of the classroom. This is done using     Augmented Reality as an emergent technology, which is used particularly for the learning of calculus at a variety of levels.

Regional Award: Latin America 


Towards a Visual and Tangible Mathematics

Tec De Monterrey


Regional  Award: North America


Purdue University

Studio by Purdue


Regional Award: Asia


XLP – extreme learning process

Tsinghua University


Regional Award: Europe


The Global Integrative Module



Global Interactive Challenge – “How can companies contribute to reducing economic inequality in the world” – online challenge involving top business schools with high engagement and societal benefits.

Regional Award: Middle East and Africa



 King Saud University

 Saudi Arabia

Self learning management tool for preparatory students to develop measurable skills – interactive e-books reduce cost of teaching so scalable – 76% student satisfaction with improvements in learning.

Regional Award: Oceania


Deakin Connect

Deakin University


Re-designed learning management system – personalized learning, evidential, industry partners, digital tools.

MBA & Professional Education Award


Developing & Assessing Global Leadership Skills through Immersive Business Simulation

Rady School, University of California, San Diego


VirBela - a 3D virtual world technology that supports blended learning called VirBELA (Virtual Business Environment for Learning & Assessment). The technology includes voice over IP (VoIP), text chat system, and a 3D campus. Learners are represented by avatars. The campus includes a lecture hall, boardrooms, breakout team rooms, offices, exhibit hall, social venue, and complex multiplayer business simulations

Engineering & IT Award



Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California


Inverted learning in iPodia goes beyond the flipped classroom, because it uses students’ feedback on course contents to promote peer-to-peer collaborations and help teachers to guide classroom interactions.

Natural Sciences Award


Blended MOOC and On Campus Learning

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology / Hong Kong Virtual University

Hong Kong

Chemists Online - This is a collaborative project between universities and secondary schools in Hong Kong that aims at nurturing scientific literacy and questioning skills of students by providing them with exposure to university education through blended learning. The program has attracted over 8,000 students from 140 secondary schools in Hong Kong and Macau.

Life Sciences Award


Case Based Collaborative Learning

Harvard Medical School


Team based online learning – improving student scores and improving employability in field

Arts & Humanities Award



Maribor University


Open innovation platform enabling students across central Europe and Scandinavia to cooperate to creative innovative products – high engagement and real business outcomes

The Palmer Group Innovative Learning among Private Business Schools Award


Reaching the Masses in India through adaptive Online Teaching

Amity  University and  Amity Business School


Online bachelors – adaptive learning based on 7 min videos followed by Q&A – 45% drop in attrition – tens of thousands of students and free online in India – combined with employment skills development to support employability

Oustanding Contribution to Education Award


Shiv Khemka

Global Education & Leadership Foundation


The Global Education & Leadership Foundation (tGELF) works towards preparing the next generation of leaders to be able to act as ethical global citizens in the face of daunting challenges that will be thrown open to them tomorrow. We are passionate about helping identify young leaders with strong values and then supporting them to develop to their full potential.


Nunzio Quacquarelli, Managing Director of QS says “QS recognizes that world university rankings cannot measure the incredible innovations in learning solutions taking place in universities and enterprises around the world. Wharton QS Stars Awards: Reimagine Education is our answer.  We want to shine a light on the very best learning and employability solutions around the world, for the benefit to current and the next generation of students.”



For further information contact:


Simona Bizzozero
Head of Public Relations
QS Quacquarelli Symonds
m: +44(0)7880 620 856
t:  +44 (0) 20 7284 7248
e: simona@qs.com 


About the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management
Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 92,000 graduates.

The Wharton SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management is the world’s first “think tank” for management education. The Wharton SEI Center ensures the relevance of management research and teaching to the evolving needs of business and society in the 21st century by joining with global thought leaders in diverse fields to anticipate the needs of management, identify forces of change, and understand emerging management paradigms. The SEI Center engages in workshops, conferences, and lectures involving senior executives, academic leaders, and students to develop research and educational initiatives to meet the future needs of management.


QS Quacquarelli Symonds
Since 1990, QS has become established as the world’s leading network for top careers and education. Producers of the QS World University Rankings, QS’s innovative research, events, publications and university solutions provide new ways of bringing universities into contact with the best and brightest students worldwide.

QS World University Rankings
The QS World University Rankings is an annual league table of the top 800 universities in the world and is arguably the best-known and respected ranking of its kind. Compiled by the QS Intelligence Unit in close consultation with an international advisory board of leading academics, the QS World University Rankings is widely referenced by prospective and current students, university professionals and governments worldwide. The purpose of the rankings has been to recognize universities as the multi-faceted organizations they are and to provide a global comparison of their success against the notional mission of remaining or becoming world-class. The rankings are based on four key pillars, research, teaching, employability and internationalization.

QS World University Rankings by Subject

Since 2011 QS has extended the scope of the world’s rankings to include the evaluation of 30 individual disciplines. The methodology utilizes adaptive weightings for the four criteria, to take into account the differences among disciplines.

The rankings are based on research citations, alongside reputational surveys of over 90,000 academics and graduate employers worldwide.

Nunzio Quacquarelli

Nunzio Quacquarelli, is founder and managing director of QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd, a global leading provider of independent information and research on top education and careers. Nunzio took his MBA at The Wharton School in the USA, where he won the Glockner Prize for Management, after gaining an MA at the University of Cambridge. At Wharton, Nunzio also led the team that won the Moot Corp Business Venture Award in 1990, in competition with teams from all the top US and European business schools. Before starting his own business Nunzio worked in strategy consulting in the UK and Italy. A respected journalist on management education and careers, Nunzio has written regularly for key media around the world. He is the Editor of several annual QS research reports including QS TopMBA.com Jobs and Salary Trends Report. Along with John O’Leary, Nunzio also conceived and designed the QS World University Rankings.

Committed to QS setting an example in socially responsible leadership, Nunzio has given this reality by establishing the charitable foundation, QS Scholarships which provides scholarships for higher education for young people who have already demonstrated socially responsible leadership.