Project Details

Student working on laptop


Free higher education online for people working for social good

By UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @joinphilu

Organisation URL:

  • Education
  • Internet
  • Social Software

People working in the social sector rarely enter their fields for the money. As a result, while university education directly enables greater societal and project impact, it can be prohibitively expensive for workers, sponsors and organisations alike. 

A nonprofit in the US, empowered by the renowned UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business, is looking to revolutionise access to higher education. Philanthropy University is an initiative that provides free, online courses to social entrepreneurs, nonprofit and NGO workers from anywhere in the world. 

The seven courses at PhilanthropyU are all university level, and each offers a Statement of Accomplishment upon completion. Finishing all seven comes with a certificate in social sector leadership from Berkeley-Haas. The courses have been developed and are taught by some of the world’s best instructors, giving the changemakers who can use and value them most the skills, confidence and network to deepen their impact in their working life. 

PhilanthropyU’s courses work around a student’s schedule, with start dates staggered throughout the year and coursework delivered at an individual pace. With two to three hours of work per week, each lasts about six weeks. So far, 100,000 students have been inspired to sign up, half of whom are within the Millennials demographic, and include 30% from North America and 30% from Africa. 

While nonprofit and social enterprise workers may extract the most value, PhilanthropyU prides itself on offering something for everyone. The University is a game-changer in terms of providing access to information and using remote learning, so be sure to check out the courses on offer. 

Image 'University Life 143' courtesy of Francisco Osorio.

Last updated: 09th of October, 2015

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