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Bertelsmann to fund 15k AI, cloud scholarships on edtech platform Udacity

Bertelsmann to fund 15k AI, cloud scholarships on edtech platform Udacity
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Germany-based media, services and education conglomerate Bertelsmann will fund 15,000 scholarships in artificial intelligence (AI), data and cloud computing on US-based online education provider Udacity.

The scholarship programme is part of a three-year commitment between Bertelsmann and Udacity to offer 50,000 scholarships globally across these emerging technologies, the online edtech firm said in a statement. 

“We are particularly looking at opportunities in the fields of Cloud, Data, and Artificial Intelligence,” Thomas Rabe, chairman and chief executive officer, Bertelsmann, said in the statement.

The selected applicants will be part of a three-and-a-half-month programme where the top 5,000 performers in each subject area will be eligible to avail a full scholarship for a Udacity Nanodegree programme in cloud DevOps engineering, data analysis or deep learning.

“The world is becoming increasingly digital, and as a result, every job in every industry is becoming a technology job. And while the industry demand for technical skills and proficiency is high, the supply is low,” said Lalit Singh, chief operating officer, Udacity.

Bertelsmann operates in about 50 countries and is the owner of venture capital firm Bertelsmann Investments, which focuses on investments in Brazil, China, India and the US. 

Its global businesses include the broadcaster platform RTL Group, book publisher Penguin Random House, Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Printing Group.

In India, Bertelsmann Investments operates through its subsidiary Bertelsmann India Investments and owns stakes in startups including gold loan platform Rupeek, agritech startup Agrostar, social platform Roposo and meat e-tailer Licious among others.

Silicon Valley-based Udacity, which was founded in 2011, provides specialised software training and vocational courses through its nano degree programmes. It works with a host of tech companies including Google, Cisco and Facebook to develop courses. 

The eight-year-old edtech unicorn has so far raised around $160 million from Bertelsmann, venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures and Drive Capital, Scotland-based asset management firm Baillie Gifford, Google’s venture capital investment arm Capital G and Emerson Collective, a charity run by Steve Jobs' widow Laurene Powell Jobs.

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