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Kyabarango from Makerere University is on the shortlist for a $100,000 prize.

This is a new $100,000 award that will be granted to one outstanding student who has made a significant influence on learning, their classmates' lives, society, and beyond.

Alex Kyabarango, a 24-year-old veterinary student at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, has been named to the Global Student Prize 2021 top 50 shortlist. This is a new $100,000 award that will be granted to one outstanding student who has made a significant influence on learning, their classmates’ lives, society, and beyond.

Kyabarango was chosen from over 3,500 nominations and applications received from 94 countries.

The Varkey Foundation established the Global Student Prize earlier this year as a sister award to its $1 million Global Teacher Prize in order to create a powerful new platform that spotlights the efforts of extraordinary students around the world who, together, are reshaping our world for the better. All students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an academic institution or a training and skills program are eligible for the prize. The reward is also open to part-time students and students enrolling in online courses.

The Global Student Prize and the Global Teacher Prize, when combined, will highlight inspiring experiences from both sides of the educational spectrum. The awards will highlight the important job that teachers undertake in educating young people for the future, as well as the incredible promise that some of the best students are demonstrating in their studies and beyond.

“Congratulations to Alex on making it to the top 50. His narrative exemplifies the need of education in confronting the world’s greatest concerns, including climate change, rising inequality, and worldwide pandemics. Only by prioritizing education can we ensure that all of our tomorrows are secure. Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, stated, “Education is the key to facing the future with confidence.”

Lila Thomas, the CEO of, praised Kyabarango as well.

“In this age of COVID, children like Alex have showed tremendous courage in continuing to study and fighting for a better future in the face of enormous hurdles. The Global Student Prize was established to bring their experiences to light and to hear their voices. After all, it is their dreams, insights, and creativity that will contribute in the resolution of some of humanity’s most pressing issues,” Lila Thomas remarked.

“This year’s contenders have made significant contributions in a variety of sectors, including the environment, equality and justice, health and well-being, education and skills, youth empowerment, and poverty alleviation.

“The achievements of these amazing kids from around the world who applied for the inaugural Global Student Prize inspired us so much that Chegg decided to double the prize value to $100,000.”

The top ten contenders for both the Global Student Prize and the Global Teacher Prize will be announced in October this year, following today’s announcement. The Global Student Prize Academy and the Global Teacher Prize Academy, both comprised of famous personalities, will choose the winners of both prizes from the top 10 finalists in each category. The winners will be announced in November at an awards ceremony in Paris.

What is Kyabarango’s name?

Kyabarango was born into a rural family in Uganda and is a Veterinary Studies student at Makerere University in Kampala.

His family didn’t have power at home, relying instead on kerosene lanterns. Kyabarango was only able to complete his education after primary school by moving to another town to live with his older sister. He was able to obtain a bursary with her assistance, and he stunned his peers by becoming the greatest student in the school and one of the finest in the region.

Kyabarango decided to be a veterinarian in high school and worked hard to become one of the best students in the country, earning a government scholarship. During his studies in 2018, he enlisted the help of a group of young scientists to create a microbe that can destroy plastics using synthetic biological technology.

Kyabarango is now the leader and coordinator of a team of three iGEM Foundation Ambassadors who collaborate to promote synthetic biology throughout Africa and beyond. If he is awarded the Global Student Prize, he plans to establish a community laboratory in Uganda to promote STEM research in the region.


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