Bill Gates Pioneers Initiatives to Improve Higher Education

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has partnered with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and four nonprofit education organizations to create technological initiatives within higher education.

Only 70% of high school students will graduate, and of those 50% are ill-equipped for success in college. Of those that do attempt college only half will ever earn a degree. For low-income students, graduation rates are even lower, hovering at a mere 25% . A post-secondary degree or credential is essential to sustain a solid U.S economy. Studies predict that by 2018, 64 %of all job openings will require a higher degree. Access to higher education has improved however, the rate of college completion has not. By age 30, fewer than half of all Americans have earned a college degree.

Gates strongly believes that strengthening online learning tools is an approach that will put the country on the road to improvement.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave an initial $20 million dollars to improve post-secondary online courses.

Today Gates wrote a post regarding these initiatives on his foundation’s blog. “It’s important, but no longer sufficient, simply to make PCs available at school for research and writing. What’s needed now are creative, smart new solutions.  What if the best lectures in the world were available to everyone? Technology also should help students assess where they are in a particular subject area, and then help that student proceed at his or her own pace.”

The Next Generation Learning Challenges will “provide grants, gather evidence about effective practices and create a community around the pressing needs to find affordable, high-quality tools to meet the needs of today’s students within the budgetary confines of today’s education system.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation firmly believes that “improving college readiness and completion for students in the U.S. is imperative – for young people, for our society, and for the country’s economic future.”

To learn more about The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation click here.

By: Nana-Adwoa Ofori

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