Access to quality education and literacy improves quality of life and creates more resilient communities. Approximately 57 million primary school-age children do not attend school. Over four out of five of these children live in rural areas. The cost of higher education is rapidly increasing with the price tag of a college degree in the US being 13 times higher than it was 40 years ago. There is a large and growing shortage of teachers. About 10% of the global population experience undernourishment which, for students decreases academic skill development in math, science and language, and increases the risk of a student dropping out. About half of the school buildings in the US are in disrepair and unfit for students, staff and teachers. Solutions must address these and more underlying factors in order to work effectively towards universal access to education and literacy.

The Challenge

The challenge for this track is to create innovative solutions that address the underlying barriers to quality education and literacy. Proposals may focus on the design, development or delivery of education and literacy solutions that can be domestic or international in scope. All proposals should clearly demonstrate the relationship between the proposed intervention and its impact on education and literacy.

Solutions may focus on several areas, including but not limited to:

  • Teacher training programs;
  • Increasing access to higher education for low-income and marginalized individuals;
  • Women’s academic empowerment programs;
  • School building and improvement of water and electricity access in schools;
  • Strategies, policies and technologies to promote education and literacy.


The “Education & Literacy” track is open to all matriculated students across the 10-campus University of California system, as well all matriculated students from Makerere University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Multidisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged.   For additional information about general contest rules, timing and how to apply, please refer to the Contest Application Requirements.

Past Winners

Dost Education

Dost Education

Mak (UC Berkeley)

2. MÄk



More Winners