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The Atlantic Philanthropies’ Investments in Higher Education

Resource type: Research Report

Susan Parker |

This report summarizes Atlantic’s $2 billion investment to strengthen higher education in the United States, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Viet Nam, and Australia over the course of 35 years.

The report found that Atlantic’s funding for a range of initiatives – buildings, faculty, programs, and scholarships – led to:

  • Transformational impact in the Republic of Ireland’s and Northern Ireland’s higher education landscape
  • An enormous boost to the infrastructure and stature of Cornell University
  • Thoughtfully-designed spaces that brought students and faculty together and sparked learning
  • Initiatives that gave students a hand up while rewarding work and service
  • New capacities in colleges and universities to raise funds to grow and sustain their mission.

The foundation also made some missteps, the report found. At times, it left too soon to make a lasting difference and the lack of an overall strategic plan may have lessened the effectiveness of some of the work.

The report includes a number of learnings that center around using a value-based, opportunistic approach to funding and to scouting out and supporting promising leaders.

Atlantic commissioned this report

Download the Full Report
Read the Executive Summary