24 January 2020

George Soros announces $1 billion gift to launch Open Society University Network

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, Open Society Foundations Founder and Chair George Soros announced on Thursday a $1 billion gift to start the Open Society University Network—an unprecedented defense of critical thinking and academic freedom that Soros called “the most important and enduring project of my life.”

Citing the threat posed to open society by “would-be or actual dictators” in Brazil, China, India, and the United States, Soros said that he would contribute $1 billion toward the Open Society University Network, a “truly global” initiative to preserve individual autonomy by supporting critical thinking and academic freedom. He also urged other proponents of open society to join this unique and ambitious effort.

The Open Society University Network (OSUN) is a new global network that integrates learning and the advancement of knowledge across geographic and demographic boundaries, promotes civic engagement on behalf of open societies, and expands access of underserved communities to higher education.

“We are looking for farsighted partners who feel a responsibility for the future of our civilization,” Soros said. “We can’t build a global network on our own; we will need partner institutions and supporters from all around the world to join us in this enterprise.”

You can read Soros’s full remarks at his personal website.