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A huge global education funding gap:

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  • Today, there is a funding gap, estimated by UNESCO at $26 billion, annually, if we want to achieve basic education for all children in low-income countries. If the goal is expanded to also include lower secondary education for all children, this gap rises to $38 billion annually. (UNESCO, Education for All Global Monitoring Report: Youth and Skills – Putting Education to Work (Paris: UNESCO, 2012).
  • This is the gap that remains once we have taken into account what Governments can reasonably be expected to fund and what international aid donors are likely to support.

Business doesn’t currently do nearly enough:

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  • Business provides an estimated US$683 million per year to support education in developing countries. (UNESCO, Education for All Global Monitoring Report: Youth and Skills—Putting Education to Work (Paris: UNESCO, 2012).
  • This is a drop in the ocean compared with national education budgets, and equivalent to just 5% of aid from donor countries that belong to the OECD-DAC. (UNESCO, Education for All Global Monitoring Report: Youth and Skills—Putting Education to Work (Paris: UNESCO, 2012).
  • Corporate giving to global health is 16 times what it is to global education. (Investment in global education – Brookings Institution)

Foundations are contributing but small amounts

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  • Among thirty philanthropic foundations surveyed, nineteen provide publicly available financial information on their programmes in ways that allow their funding for education in developing countries to be identified. Their contributions total around US$135 million a year. (UNESCO, Education for All Global Monitoring Report: Youth and Skills—Putting Education to Work (Paris: UNESCO, 2012).
  • Among foundations with data, only five provide more than US$5 million a year. These five account for 87% of the total amount from foundations. Their contributions are comparable with aid to education from some of the smallest government donors, such as Luxembourg and New Zealand. (UNESCO, Education for All Global Monitoring Report: Youth and Skills—Putting Education to Work (Paris: UNESCO, 2012).

US Focus

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  • US foundations give around 8% of their grants to education, compared with 53% to health. (UNESCO, Education for All Global Monitoring Report: Youth and Skills—Putting Education to Work (Paris: UNESCO, 2012).
  • As much as 90% of corporate contributions are from pharmaceutical companies (UNESCO, Education for All Global Monitoring Report: Policy Paper 05 January 2013 – Private sector should boost finance for education)

India focus

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  • The analysis, conducted by professional services firm Deloitte India, suggests that 27 per cent of the 91 top companies studied spent at least 2 per cent of their net profit on CSR-related expenses in 2011-12. (Urgent Needs Of NGOs In The Education Sector – Deloitte India)
  • Some 37 per cent of the companies spent between 1 and 2 per cent. The remaining 36 per cent spent less than 1 per cent, according to the Annual Status of Higher Education of States and Union Territories in India, 2013, a report brought out by the human resources development ministry and industry body CII. (ASHE 2013 – Annual Status of Higher Education of States and UTs in India – Deloitte India and Confederation of Indian Industry)
  • Setting aside a part of their profits for social causes was not mandatory for India Inc., but the recently passed Companies Act, 2013, says business houses have to spend at least 2 per cent of their average net profit on CSR-related support. (Companies Act, 2013 – Ministry Of Corporate Affairs, India)

Return on investment is massive – a no brainer:

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  • In a global survey of over 1,000 CEOs, almost 30 per cent said that talent constraints kept them from pursuing market opportunities, and that number jumped to over 50 per cent among business leaders in countries that belong to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Labour costs are increasing. (Investment in global education – Brookings Institution)
  • The inability to secure future talent with the right skills and to man¬age talent-related costs keeps firms from being able to quickly scale up their operations to meet demand in new locations and to launch new products and services.
  • Using data from a “typical” Indian company, we have found that $1 invested in education today returns $53 in value to the employer at the start of a person’s working years. (Investment in global education – Brookings Institution)
  • Countries able to attain literacy scores 1 percentage point above the international average will achieve 2.5 per cent higher labour productivity rates and 1.5 per cent higher GDP per capita than countries with average literacy scores. (Investment in global education – Brookings Institution)