On January 23rd, 2020, President Botstein sent out an email to the entire Bard community announcing a new initiative that Bard College will be a part of: the Open Society University Network (OSUN). The OSUN Mission is described on the Bard Website with information on OSUN. OSUN seeks to promote and create education that has a global and wide-reaching view, with an emphasis on looking into the future and preparing students for a world threatened by authoritarianism and Climate Change.
OSUN is comprised of many colleges and universities around the world, and is funded by George Soros. The initiative is described in an article on OSUN in the Open Society Foundation website. OSUN “…will integrate teaching and research across higher education institutions worldwide. It will offer simultaneously taught network courses and joint degree programs and regularly bring students and faculty from different countries together with in-person and online discussions.”
OSUN also has the goal of providing education to people who often do not have access to education, including refugees and people who are incarcerated.
The same article opens with the words, “George Soros announced today that he is creating a new university network to better prepare students for current and future global challenges.”
In a speech that Soros gave, which is quoted in an article on the Open Society Foundation website, “Mr. Soros, who has given more than $32 billion over the past 30 years to education and social justice causes, added ‘We are looking for farsighted partner institutions who feel a responsibility for the future of our civilization, people who are inspired by the goals of OSUN and want to participate in its realization.’”
Soros directly mentions climate change in his speech that is quoted in an article on Bloomberg News, in which he said, “Taking into account the climate emergency and worldwide unrest, it’s not an exaggeration to say that 2020 and the next few years will determine[…]the fate of the world.”
Written by Rose Reiner
Class of 2023