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In 2016, the European Commission launched the first European Digital Skills Awards to honor outstanding initiatives that significantly improve Europeans’ competence to use digital technology. This was a landmark act of recognition, emblematic of growing awareness of the need to teach digital skills, promote digital citizenship, and empower participation in a global digital economy.
This year’s awards have just been announced, and we’re delighted that the European Commission has awarded Udacity, and our partners Bertelsmann and Google, the 2017 Digital Skills Award in the “‘Digital Skills for ICT Professionals”’ category.
Udacity, Bertelsmann, and Google share a commitment to lifelong learning and universal access to world-class learning opportunities. We have partnered to support deserving learners across the globe who aspire to learn valuable digital skills, and realize their life and career goals. We announced the first large-scale expression of this partnership in November 2016, when Udacity and Google joined forces to grant 10,000 Udacity scholarships for EU residents.
The goal of the initiative was to help Europeans master in-demand app development skills. Within two months of launching, 70,000 people applied for 10,000 Udacity scholarships! The applicants admitted to the program came from 32 different countries, and a wide range of professional backgrounds. These motivated lifelong learners set powerful examples for their fellow students, and showed the world that hard work, grit, and determination can create amazing opportunities.
Aaron left business school to pursue his passion for computer science. Looking to self-learn, he discovered the Google scholarship through Udacity, and went on to earn his Associate Android Developer Certification. He is now an Android Developer at SinnerSchrader Swipe in Berlin, and is on track to fulfill his dream of being a full-time developer.
After having to resign her job and move away from Budapest, Ildiko found herself wanting to express her creative side. She applied for a Udacity scholarship, learned to code, and created GreenFeet—a social good app that measures your carbon footprint.
After receiving her university degree in Bioinformatics, Lara moved from Spain to Germany, where she found work as a Mobile Quality Assurance Tester in Berlin. She soon realized she had a passion for tech. She began teaching herself front-end development, and ultimately applied for a Udacity scholarship to learn Android. One year of hard work later, Lara landed a job as a Junior Android Engineer at the language learning app Babbel!
These stories inspire and energize us to continue working on behalf of deserving students everywhere who seek to empower themselves through learning:
“We are honored to be recognized by the European Commission for our work with Google and Bertelsmann in promoting job-relevant digital skills and lifelong learning for tens of thousands of people across Europe. At Udacity, our goal is to empower as many people as possible to participate in, and benefit from, the digital economy. The stories from this scholarship program confirm that we’re on the right track. We’re looking forward to replicating our success with this year’s even larger scholarship program.” —Vish Makhijani, CEO, Udacity
Being recognized by the European Commission is so much more than a testament to Bertelsmann, Google, and Udacity. It’s a testament to the 10,000 students who took a leap for their careers, landed exciting new jobs, and led by example.
We can’t wait to see what the new class of 75,000 scholarship recipients will achieve!