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Soros to Spend $1 Billion on Higher Ed Network

January 24, 2020

George Soros, the Hungarian American investor and philanthropist, on Thursday announced the creation of a $1 billion global network that seeks to "transform" higher education.

"The Open Society University Network is a new model of global higher education," the Open Society Foundations, a grant-making group founded by Soros, said in a news release. "It will integrate learning and knowledge creation across geographic and demographic boundaries, promote civic engagement to advance open societies and expand access of underserved communities to higher education."

Soros said the network will seek to integrate teaching and research across higher education institutions worldwide. It plans to offer simultaneously taught network courses and joint degree programs, both online and in person.

The network will focus on neglected populations, including refugees, incarcerated people, Roma and other displaced groups.

Bard College and the Central European University, which Soros founded, will be the primary partners of the new network. Other partners include Arizona State University, the American University of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan and BRAC University in Bangladesh.

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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