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Little girl in her classroom.

Better learning, a whole life long: Education starts long before school does and it never ends, since education is much more than mere knowledge. It’s the basis for a fulfilled life and for participating effectively in society. A vital democracy needs as many well-educated, proactive citizens as possible. Moreover, increasing global competition and cultural diversity are presenting our educational systems with new challenges. We must increase the quality of education, providing access to individualized learning from birth on as a way of ensuring equal educational opportunities. Everyone must have the chance to continue learning in every stage of life. When we invest in education, we are ensuring society’s future while simultaneously promoting integration and civic engagement.

Focus Areas

Early Childhood Education

Children in Germany must be given better educational opportunities during their preschool years, opportunities that reflect each child’s individual background. To ensure this happens, new cross-institutional approaches must be implemented that focus on both parents and children as youngsters make their way from one educational stage to the next. The Bertelsmann Stiftung’s projects in the area of Early Childhood Education are specifically designed to meet these goals.



As the world grows more complex, education becomes the prerequisite for participating effectively in society. We are committed to ensuring that young people are in a position to take responsibility for themselves and to assist others. Our projects focus on helping schools to further develop both their overall outcomes in general and students’ classroom experiences in particular. In addition, our projects strive to create an educational system that is as equitable as it is effective.



Libraries are an important part of the educational landscape. Their modern media and strong customer focus make them an essential component in the information society of today and tomorrow.

Education and Training

Our goal is to ensure that each young person has access to the best possible educational opportunities. Students should have the broadest range of developmental possibilities available to them – regardless of whether they want to take up a vocation or trade or go on to university.


Lifelong Learning

Education takes place in other settings besides school and it continues long after graduation. In today’s world, people must be able to pursue their interests and develop their skills during every stage of life; in addition, they must be able to participate actively in society even in later years. Our ELLI monitoring tool is designed to highlight opportunities for lifelong learning while providing the transparency necessary for comparing them.


Investing in Education

When it comes to education, cost-saving measures can be expensive. Social inequalities result in educational inequalities, including inadequate access to a quality education. Each child grows up in different circumstances, and each requires different resources as a result. In order to ensure that the available means are used as effectively as possible, accurate information is needed on current needs and on which investments are achieving the desired results. Transparency, achieved through educational monitoring, is thus a prerequisite for ensuring that any investments made are effective and that they increase equal opportunity among learners.


Participation and Values

If they are to find their way in society, young people need both cognitive and social skills, as well as the information required for making appropriate life choices. By taking a holistic approach focusing on civic, social and intercultural skills, the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s educational projects are designed to encourage each child to become an active member of society.


More focus areas and projects

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