The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation has a long history of supporting educational efforts in India, and in the past, has thrown its weight and donor dollars behind organizations like the Villgro Innovation Fund and Gyan Shala.
Although the MSDF has supported organizations working in Uttar Pradesh, its recent collaboration with Medha marks the first time the foundation has teamed up with an ed organization located in the city.
MSDF will embark on a mission to scale Medha’s Career Service Centers (CSC) and its Employability Program to reach 1,500 students across northern India. Though the exact amount of MSDF’s grant hasn’t been unveiled, the funding will help support the opening of 50 CSCs in around 50 educational in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar over the next two years.
Based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, Medha has only been around since 2011 but has made some pretty significant accomplishments, like training and placing over 500 students in 10 colleges and building a public-private partnership with India’s Department of Higher Education. Medha's accomplishments over a relatively short period of time apparently caught MSDFs funding eye.
The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation doesn’t fund a large number of educational programs annually, and this is the first time the foundation has supported Medha. So a proven track record of success is definitely big on MSDF's funding decisions. Not to mention that in its current Dell supported work, Medha hopes to tackle the significant and growing gap between Indian students’ education and employment. Work falls right in line with MSDF's grantmaking goal of improving employment outcomes for India’s burgeoning youth population.
Through this new collaboration, MSDF and Medha hope to translate students’ book smarts into practical skills. It's a huge problem in the region, as an estimated 50 percent of college grads in India are deemed unemployable by industry at large. More specifically, the partnership will focus on an education model that increases the chances of gainful employment for the area’s underprivileged young people.
As we mentioned previously, MSDF does spotlight its international urban education grantmaking on India, but it doesn’t award a large number of grants annually. Last year, the foundation awarded just five grants totaling just over $4.5 million.