Press Release

Press Release | Brussels, 12/11/2017

High Praise for Scholarship Initiative by Google, Bertelsmann and Udacity

Alessandro Bogliolo, Member of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board; Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner Digital Economy and Society; Leslie Miller, Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google; Marc Sundermann, Head of the Brussels Liaison Office, Vice President Government Relations at Bertelsmann (f.l.t.r.)

  • EU Commission salutes collaboration for promoting IT skills with ‘European Digital Skills Award 2017’

The advanced training initiative jointly mounted by Google, Bertelsmann, and Udacity to train IT talent has been recognized by the European Commission with a European Digital Skills Award. Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, presented the award on Thursday at an event in Brussels.

The three companies had launched the initiative in 2016. It initially involved Google and Bertelsmann funding approximately 12,000 scholarships for various courses on the digital learning and training platform Udacity.

This year, another 75,000 scholarships were added to the initiative. The offer aims to provide interested talent with the necessary IT skills for the labor market and prepare them for the digital future in Europe. While Google's scholarships focus on Android and web development, Bertelsmann's focus on the field of data analysis.

Thomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “We are delighted to receive the European Commission's award. I could not be more pleased that the partnership we have created with Google and Udacity is being acknowledged for the impact it is having. This is testament of the fact that we care deeply about addressing the IT skills gap in the markets we operate in. After all, building and attracting a talent pipeline with state-of-the-art digital capabilities is a top priority of Bertelsmann as we become a faster-growing, more digital, more international and more diversified company.”

Matt Brittin, President, EMEA Business & Operations, Google said: “Everyone needs the right skills to get a job or grow their career, and the web can help with that. We feel we can make a difference with our digital skills training, so we're delighted to see the developer scholarships being recognised by the European Commission, and are thankful to our partners Udacity and Bertelsmann. When we joined the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition back in 2015, we did so in the hope of helping to make a difference to people’s futures, and we have been humbled by the stories of success we’ve heard from our trainees along the way.”

Vish Makhijani, CEO of Udacity, said: “We are honoured to be recognised 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.”

The European Commission’s European Digital Skills Awards recognizes innovative digital initiatives that can inspire others to take similar action. An independent panel of experts selects the winners. This year, 243 projects were submitted for consideration in five categories.

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 116,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.0 billion in the 2016 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.

About Google Inc and Alphabet Inc
Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google in September 1998. Since then, the company has grown to more than 50,000 employees worldwide, with a wide range of popular products and platforms like Search, Maps, Ads, Gmail, Android, Chrome, and YouTube. In October 2015, Alphabet became the parent holding company of Google. You can read more about Alphabet’s mission here:

About Udacity
Udacity works with industry leaders to create project-based online learning programmes. These unique collaborations ensure that students learn the technology skills that employers value most. Udacity offers courses in mobile and web development and data science, as well as virtual reality, artificial intelligence or self-driving car engineering. In addition to 150 free courses, Udacity offers 17 flagship Nanodegree programmes. Udacity’s Nanodegree programmes are built with, and recognised by, industry leaders like Google, Facebook or Amazon and feature hiring partnerships with global innovators such as IBM Watson, Mercedes-Benz and SAP. Udacity is headquartered in Mountain View, California with international offices in Sao Paulo, Berlin, New Delhi and Shanghai. To learn more, please visit