Public Private Partnerships in Education
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Public Private Partnerships in Education

New Actors and Modes of Governance in a Globalizing World

Edited by Susan L. Robertson, Karen Mundy, Antoni Verger and Francine Menashy

This insightful book brings together both academics and researchers from a variety of international organizations and aid agencies to explore the complexities of public private partnerships as a resurgent, hybrid mode of educational governance that operates across scales, from the community to the global.
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Chapter 9: Microsoft Corporation: A Case Study of Corporate-led PPPs in Education

Zahra Bhanji


Zahra Bhanji This chapter focuses on Microsoft’s flagship international public private partnership (PPP) in education, the Partners in Learning (PiL) programme. Microsoft’s vision for the PiL programme is to: Empower schools to help improve student achievement by applying resources such as services, products and people at the local level. By partnering with schools and government we aim to set a new high standard for digital inclusion for students and work with schools to prepare students for the digital workplace; empower educators to raise the level of ICT literacy in their institution and support teachers and schools in developing innovative cultures. (Microsoft Corporation 2006) Since 2004, Microsoft has developed an elaborate organizational structure for PiL, where they have donated software, invested $150 million per year, and employed over 100 staff in the programme. The PiL programme in a given country can involve any of three core components: the PiL Fresh Start for Donated PCs; the PiL School Agreement programme; and the PiL Grants programme. The first two core programmes aim to facilitate access to technology. The third initiative, a grants programme, aims to help educators and students build their capacity to use technology in schools and throughout their lives. Table 9.1 provides further details on the three programme components. In scale and scope, this programme is one of Microsoft’s largest engagements in education to date and larger than that of any other technology company operating in education. The PiL programme has reached over 8 million teachers and more than 190 million...

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