Global Teacher Prize

1m ways to appreciate teachers

The Varkey Foundation established the The Global Teacher Prize which is an annual US $1 million award presented to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession. The Global Teacher Prize serves to underline the importance of educators and the fact that, throughout the world, their efforts deserve to be recognised and celebrated. It seeks to acknowledge the impacts of the very best teachers – not only on their students but on the communities around them.

Varkey Teacher Ambassadors

Every year, the top 50 finalists of the Global Teacher Prize join an extraordinary community of the world's finest teachers. Varkey Teacher Ambassadors are leaders in their field and will stop at nothing to ensure that all children get a good education. As well as having a voice at policy level, the teachers work together on global projects, reaching an increasing number of teachers and children across the globe. We now have over 200 ambassadors from more than 60 countries. Many teach in communities facing discrimination, poverty and conflict and while they are all different, they share the belief that education transforms lives.

National Teacher Prizes

The success of the Global Teacher Prize has inspired countries around the world to set up their own awards to find and honour their best teachers. Today, there are over 40 National Teacher Prizes in countries all around the world, from Latin America to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. That number’s growing fast: 17 States established National Teacher Prizes in 2017 alone.

The Varkey Foundation partners with the organizers of National Teacher Prizes and offers expert advice on the application and nomination processes, as well as judging criteria. The foundation also promotes National Teacher Prizes across the world.

Advocacy and expert groups 

The foundation regularly convenes meetings of global leaders to discuss key issues in education. We are now working closely with the UN’s education agency, UNESCO. For seven years, we hosted the Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai. In October 2020, the foundation will host a major new conference for global leaders in the UK as part of the Global Teacher Prize.  

Atlantis Group: A group of 26 former education ministers and heads of government, with over 90 years of combined experience in managing public education systems. Today, the group works to advise governments and to deliver new thinking on key education issues. The group has just published a new report on how governments can deliver on the promise of educational technology. 


We want to know what the world thinks and feels about education. Our opinion polling on education now covers over 35 countries, and draws on the views of teachers, parents and young people. Our flagship research is the Global Teacher Status index, which documents the social status of teachers around the world. 


  • Our Leadership and Innovation Programme in Argentina, is an intensive, six-week development programme for school leaders, delivered in partnership with the Government of Argentina. Since the programme began more than 5,000 school principals have been trained; benefitting over 1million children.
  • Making Ghanaian Girls Great! (MGCubed) delivers interactive learning sessions to students, teachers, communities, and government officials. The programme uses solar-powered and satellite-enabled distance learning infrastructure. Since the programme began: 88 schools and communities have been engaged; over 1,000 teachers have been reached through MGCubed and its sister-project, Teach to Reach Remote Classrooms; and over 40,000 pupils have benefited in total.
  • Train for Tomorrow is a remote teacher training project undertaken in Colleges of Education across all 10 regions in Ghana, using satellite-enabled technology. 20 Colleges of Education have been established as training hubs; and this has impacted over 180,000 learners.
  • In Uganda, our Instructional Leadership programme has trained 27,936 school leaders and teachers representing 1381 schools and impacting over 1.1million Ugandan children, who now have access to a quality teacher.

Do you know a teacher worthy of such recognition? Visit the The Global Teacher Prize website to find out more...