Education is key in each endeavor shaping the path of progress and UniCredit Bank is an active player in connecting the actual needs with opportunities, in line with its ESG and sustainability strategy. The future is not a destination, but a series of continuous actions aiming towards one goal – enabling communities to progress by giving them the necessary tools to fulfill their full potential.
€2.5 million to support youth and education in Europe
About 250 million young students in Europe leave school without basic reading, writing, and math skills, and secondary school graduates have a 58% employment rate versus 85% for those with university degrees. In line with UniCredit’s ambition to be the bank for Europe’s future, the UniCredit Foundation is unlocking the potential of Europe’s next generation by offering them equal educational opportunities and the necessary tools to achieve successful academic careers, allowing them to prosper. In 2023 UniCredit Foundation invited all NGOs active in Europe to an open call for projects offering a total grant of €2,500,000 to support projects aimed at combating school dropout, enhancing employability, and encouraging university attainment.
UniCredit and Teach for All – a long-term partnership for Europe’s future
The global partnership with Teach has impacted nearly 60.000 students across Europe, involving nearly 700 teachers (and over 2.300 alumni) in nearly 1.000 schools. UniCredit continues to fuel the pan-European partnership with Teach for All with a €2 million donation. The current program is present in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Romania, and Slovakia and will soon be extended to Serbia.
In Romania, the local partner is Teach for Romania which will support 11 teachers active in 9 public schools and will enable them to become the leaders the students nowadays need, giving them a holistic development path to follow.
”In Romania, 6 out of 10 children coming from vulnerable communities face real difficulties in writing or reading. Add this to the very poor infrastructure of teaching personnel and other challenges and one would immediately foresee the urgent need for action. Through our partnership with Teach for Romania, we offer a leadership program for people who want to be involved in reshaping the meaning of education in Romania. For 2 years, this program gives them all the necessary tools so that they can become the future shapers of the next generation of students, keeping them involved in future roles as alumni of Teach for Romania. This is only one story from our broader goal to empower communities to progress.” states Anca Ungureanu, Head of Identity and Communication UniCredit Bank Romania.
Education through gaming
We all have mixed feelings when talking about gaming. However, we believe that gaming can be a perfect tool to empower future generations of students to learn and experience school in a way that is more appealing in a hyper-digitalized world.
Together with the Romanian Game Developers Association, UniCredit Bank launched the program Games in Schools, an educational endeavor meant to offer teachers in over 20 schools around Romania alternative teaching tools with the final aim to make learning more fun and attractive. One such tool is the European textbook Games in Schools developed by the European School Network and ISFE (Interactive Software Federation of Europe) which informs teachers of the educational benefits of gaming and ways to use gaming as both motivational and educational resources during classes.
Empowering the next generations of entrepreneurs
The first steps for a successful enterprise are to be learnt from the early years. With this in mind, for the third year in a row, together with The Social Incubator Association, UniCredit Bank supports a program that helps students with a technical education background to learn how to access financing to follow their vocation, but also how to spend them wisely. Over 2,900 students in 6 counties benefit from the training.
On a different note, innovation and creativity are key drivers for economic progress. That is why, UniCredit Bank has been a supporter of creative entrepreneurs, offering them a tailored training program where they can learn in a very focused manner about the legal and financial tools necessary to set up a business, but also an overview of how they can connect their talent with the potential consumers. The program was pioneered during Romanian Creative Week in Iasi in 2022 and reported a tremendous success.
UniCredit Bank has also designed a specific banking product called The Creative Pack precisely to match the needs of existing creative entrepreneurs or wannabes. The larger approach of UniCredit Bank to support the creative business sector in Romania has recently been distinguished by Sabre Awards as a finalist in The Balkans regional category, awarding excellence in communication and public relations worldwide.