More than 300 students from Nepal’s two universities – Tribhuvan University (TU) and Kathmandu University (KU) - are competing in the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition, in a quest to win USD 1 million to tackle the global refugee crisis by launching sustainable social ventures.
The theme for the 2017 Hult Prize challenge is 'Refugees: Reawakening Human Potential.' This challenge was selected by former US President Bill Clinton. The event expects to bring the brightest students together to focus their passion, energy, and talent to come up with social innovation aimed at improving economic growth and social justice for refugees.
Ahmad Ashkar, Founder and CEO of the Hult Prize Foundation said: “Since its inception in 2009, the Hult Prize has seen some remarkable talent emerge across the world, competing with fantastic ideas to solve the world’s toughest challenges.”
In Nepal, during the on-campus round, 40 team from TU and 42 team from KU registered for the challenge. These teams are coming from the Ph.D., graduate and undergraduate programs to test their grit in building a viable solution to this global social issue.
According to a press release issued by UNHCR, the Hult Prize at both universities is being supported by UNHCR Nepal and Nepal Innovation Lab (World Vision International). This is the first on-campus Hult Prize event in the country.
“Addressing the challenges of forced displacement globally requires international solidarity and innovation,” said Kevin J. Allen, UNHCR Representative in Nepal. “We are pleased to support creative young minds in Nepal as they generate new ideas to promote refugee protection and empowerment.”
The main event of the Hult Prize at KU and Hult Prize at TU is taking place on Thursday, December 15, 2016 at Dhulikhel and Yalamaya Kendra, Patan respectively. The top two teams representing KU and TU will get a spot in one of the five regional finals events happening in March 2017: London, Boston, San Francisco, Shanghai and Dubai.
The winning teams from the regions will be provided with international mentorship and housed in Boston who will then compete in the global level hosted in New York. Winner of Hult Prize 2017 will be receiving USD 1 million to implement their social entrepreneurship idea.