Global Education Initiative

The Credit Suisse Global Education Initiative is supporting selected international development organizations to improve the education opportunities for thousands of school-age children and young people through locally relevant programs across the regions in which we operate.

In 2000, the UN defined 'Achieving Universal Primary Education' as one of its eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Based on enrolment data of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report 2012 (PDF), however, about 61 million children of primary school age in the developing world were still not in school in 2010. 33 million were from sub-Saharan Africa, and 13 million from Southern Asia. Furthermore, according to the Education For All Global Monitoring Report, while more of the hardest-to-reach children enter school, they find it more difficult to complete the cycle.

Moreover, neither enrolment nor attendance figures reflect children who do not attend school regularly. To make matters worse, official data are not usually available from countries in conflict or post-conflict situations. If data from these countries were reflected in global estimates, the enrolment picture would be even less optimistic. And nearly one billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.

This education deficit represents an enormous loss of human potential: education is a great equalizer and powerful force for social and economic change. It lays a foundation for a better life and greater opportunities. UNESCO reports that each extra year of school increases individual income an average of 15 per cent. In most nations, this translates into a 1% increase in annual GDP.

Credit Suisse’s efforts have focused on providing education to those most in need through our Global Education Initiative. Launched in 2008, the Initiative is proud of the achievements and the strong partnerships developed over the past 5 years. These partnerships have focused on breaking down barriers to accessing education and improving the quality of educational opportunities.

Our Approach

The Global Education Initiative has been supporting the programs of six selected international non-profit organizations using a three-fold approach: breaking down barriers to access, improving the quality and relevance of education and ensuring that our partners achieve greater impact and sustainability. Many of the projects are implemented in developing countries and emerging economies and focus on infrastructure, financial support for schooling, teacher training and advocacy. With  our partners we believe we have made a real impact, reaching over 100,000 students in over 400 schools in 38 countries.  Over the past 5 years more than 15,000 teachers have been trained in subjects ranging from STEM and IT to child-friendly teaching methodologies, 

The diagram below shows the various education program interventions that have been documented as having an impact on expanding access and improving the quality of education. The programs of our partners all contain these elements.


Through our funding and multi-faceted support our partners have been able to pilot new programs and approaches while also strategically developing these in order to ensure their sustainability . For example, with Camfed we piloted and scaled up science, math and technology (SMAT) camps held in the summer to inspire girls to study these subjects, providing them with role models and insight into industries where they could apply their learning. With CARE, we improved both access to and the quality of education to the remote Maasai community in Tanzania through teacher training and by building the first secondary school for 8 communities in the Morogoro area. With our support, the Teach for All network has grown from 2 to 28 partners, all striving to improve the quality of teaching in schools serving underprivileged areas. The Initiative helped Room to Read launch its literacy pilots and scale this work in 3 new countries. Both Worldfund and Plan International have also strengthened their programs and worked with local education authorities for educational change.

Part of our continuing collaboration with our partners has been  to ensure that we add value in a variety of ways. One example is through our skills-based volunteering Global Citizens Program which enables our employees to directly support our partners' organizational development.   Since its launch in 2010, 131 employees have participated in the Global Citizens Program, going on assignments to assist our partners in the field on a range of projects such as financial management, HR and marketing and communications in 31 countries.

Secondary Content

Global Citizens Program

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Sharing our employees' skills and expertise with our NGO partners on the ground.