Together for the International Day of Education
Wednesday 24 January 2024
The United Nations General Assembly declared 24 January as International Day of Education. Thanks to the UniCredit Foundation’s commitments and work, we mark this day with a recap our main initiatives of 2023 in the name of a fairer world where everyone can have the tools to access quality education.
As highlighted in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights calling for free and compulsory elementary education for all, Education is a human right.
Despite this, about 244 million children and teenagers around the world are out of school while 617 million children and teenagers are not able to read or do basic maths and some four million children and youth refugees are not in school.
Thanks to our UniCredit Foundation, every day we strive to have a positive impact on our communities through a series of programmes and initiatives dedicated to education. The UniCredit Foundation aims to unlock the potential of Europe’s next generation providing Europe’s youth with equal and enhanced educational opportunities and the support they need to make their way in the academic and professional world. This includes the launch of scholarships, research grants and research awards in the countries in which the Group operates.
Supporting education in our communities – highlights of 2023
2023 was the year in which the Foundation achieved significant goals also thanks to strategic partnerships with Junior Achievement Europe and Teach for All. In July 2023, the Foundation and Junior Achievement Europe launched 'Re-power your future', a programme to prevent early school dropout. Furthermore, in November 2023 the UniCredit Foundation and Teach For All signed a pan-European partnership dedicated to promoting equal education opportunities for all.
The Foundation also launched “Call for Education 2023”, aimed at identifying and supporting programmes to fight educational poverty in 10 different European countries where UniCredit operates.
*= initiative funded in 2022
A journey through our key milestones
First education research grant*
We launched the first grant for PhD economists and researchers aimed at fostering global advancements in education.
We engaged our people in Germany and Italy in a micro-funding initiative with the goal of supporting two programs combatting educational poverty in each country.
Fundraising for the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria
We involved 1,700 colleagues in helping earthquake victims through contributions to non-profit organisations such as the Red Cross, Save the Children and the UNHCR.
Call for Education Italy Award*
We granted four non-profit organisations with diverse programs to support 960 middle and high school students in their schooling and professional development.
Annual Report 2022
The Report highlighted the Foundation's pivotal initiatives to a wide audience through various channels, emphasizing our new Purpose also with an online-only format.
Call for Education Romania and Bulgaria Award*
We granted four organisations with impactful grassroot programs in favor of lower and upper secondary school students. The associations we supported in the two countries are focused on tackling early school leaving and encouraging an adequate acquisition of skills to attain universities and successfully enter the job market.
Launch of scholarships and fellowships
We launched merit-based awards for European graduates and researchers in economics and finance across seven competitions, aiming to cultivate academic excellence.
Partnership with Junior Achievement Europe
We launched "Re-power your future", a three-year program with JAE to re-engage 400,000 students in 10 European countries with the aim of improving school outcomes, preventing dropouts, and inspiring students to find careers they are passionate about.
"My Future Buddy" - Experimental study
The first education research grant launched in January was won by the Department of Economics and Statistics of the University of Naples Federico II. The grant will cover for an experimental study of the impact of the Ortygia Foundation's "My Future Buddy" initiative which aims to enhance educational and professional outcomes in Southern Italy.
"At school in Europe" initiative
We launched, together with our partners, the 3rd edition of "At school in Europe", facilitating intercultural dialogue and international youth exchanges for deserving students of vocational schools in 3 Italian regions.
Renewed partnership with Teach for All
We started a three-year partnership with Teach For All aimed at enhancing education in underserved European schools, focusing on six countries and aligning with UniCredit's commitment to empowering communities. An international press conference was held on the occasion of the launch.
Collaboration with Harvard Kennedy School - CID
We launched a collaboration with the Centre of International Development at Harvard Kennedy School offering fellowships to doctoral and postdoctoral students to research educational development in our Group countries.
Call for Education Europe
We awarded 18 educational programs in ten European countries where UniCredit operates, focusing on reducing early school dropout, enhancing university access, and improving job market skills for middle and high school students.
Filarmonica della Scala - Open Rehearsals 2024
We backed the 13th edition of Open Rehearsals: four charity events for the whole city of Milan, where music becomes a way of sharing a broader objective. Beneficiaries are four non-profit organisations focused on educational poverty.
Rollout of new grants and fellowships
We introduced a new series of calls for applications to benefit European graduates and researchers in Economics and Finance: 6 competitions for 39 scholarships and grants, awarded solely on merit. These calls include scholarships for summer schools, master and US PhD scholarships, grants for PhD programs, grant on education and best papers on gender economics.
"Beyond compulsory education in Europe" Annual Research Report
We have partnered with Prof. Daniele Checchi and the Research Centre "Luca d'Agliano" to produce the report "Beyond Compulsory Education in Europe", encompassing UniCredit countries and set for publication in April 2024.
Gift Matching Program
The UniCredit Foundation through the GMP doubles the donations made by our colleagues to non-profit organisations focused on children and young adults, amplifying their solidarity commitments, and making a positive impact. The 20th edition involved the participation of 4926 colleagues resulting in a total of 1 million euro donated to 175 organisations.
Continued education to empower our people
Our Group continues to value and support education inside our Bank with UniCredit University and PLUS – our Group’s main digital learning platform.
Inclusive quality education and equitable opportunities for all are the baseline to allow us to unlock a better future. Let’s do it together!