The media conglomerate is an anchor investor in University Ventures, a $100m fund that will partner with higher education institutions to launch innovative, digitally-based educational programs. An early project is a hispanic-focused college in California.

Media corporation Bertelsmann formed a $100m investment fund, University Ventures, on Tuesday, in collaboration with limited partners including the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO).

The fund will focus on partnering with universities to develop innovative higher education programs across the US and Europe, particularly those which address pressing social and economic needs.

The fund is planning between six and ten investments over the next three years, some of which are already underway, and hopes to provide educational programs that facilitate better outcomes for a lower cost.

Bertelsmann is looking at the fund as a vehicle for its early entry into collaborative private/educational programs, an industry it expects to see grow significantly as digital technology becomes more widespread and fiscal concerns mean universities will need to restructure their prospectus, partnering more widely with private institutional investors.

Thomas Rabe, chief executive officer of Bertelsmann and chairman of the…

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