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Round 7
Application Deadline: May 15, 2024

Note: Applications received after this date will be considered in the next round.

For institutions from emerging and under-developed nations to get affordably and rapidly accredited on the most advanced global standards in Data Science and AI education.

WDSI awards subsidies and grants to institutions to cover substantial costs involved in the accreditation process, the procurement of advanced teaching-learning resources and student certification on future-ready vendor-neutral and cross-platform knowledge standards. The key WDSI objective is to get universities in many emerging countries to launch degree programs in data science and artificial intelligence and achieve the world-class faster by helping them embrace and adopt the accreditation-certification combination. Periodically, WDSI hand-picks well-performing institutions across countries for their potential to become models in informational and digital technology education and research. WDSI invites these institutions to get accredited on international standards and offer global certifications to their students on WDSI-subsidized fee.

The World Data Science Initiative targets around USD 300 million in subsidies and grants by the year 2030 to help reduce the accreditation cost-burden for applicant-institution. These grants-in-aid and subsidies are not provided to institutions. They are directly sent to official accreditors and empaneled experts offering services to the awardee institutions being accredited. These subsidies/grants reflect as reduced invoiced costs of content, certification, knowledge, and process that applicant institutions incur during accreditation or while setting up their Centers of Excellence or their Data Science schools.

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Areas under subsidies/grants WDSI

Areas Covered Under Subsidies/Grants

The Initiative seeks to assist applicant institutions, through subsidies and grants, in the following activities:

  • Services related to global accreditation of the relevant department(s) for programs in data science and artificial intelligence
  • Launching of bachelor's and master’s degree programs in areas related to data science and artificial intelligence
  • Knowledge and advisory required for establishing a center of excellence in data science and artificial intelligence
  • Knowledge and advisory required for establishing a dedicated training facility for data science and artificial intelligence

NOT COVERED IN THE SUBSIDY/GRANT Costs of construction and appointment of facilities; Salary of staff/fee of external consultants/infrastructure/ construction/hardware/equipment/computers/third party software.

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Prospective Subsidy Applicants/Beneficiaries

The following five categories of institutions are eligible for applying for WDSI subsidy/grants:

  • 1Governments, public universities, colleges, and institutions
  • 2Private universities/institutions; colleges duly recognized by their respective governments
  • 3Technology/Data Science/AI education or training consortia; project organizations/special-purpose vehicles funded by multilateral aid bodies and charitable organizations
  • 4Technology/Data Science/AI education consortia; project organizations/special-purpose vehicles funded by elected national governments or elected provincial governments in nations
  • 5Technology/Data Science/AI education projects funded/sponsored by not-for-profit organizations engaged in employability development and social upliftment through education and training
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Five categories of institution eligible for  WDSI

The Process

  • 1The application made by any institution is assessed for qualification for the WDSI subsidy for accreditation only.
  • 2The subsidy/grant request is assessed for each applicant institution individually by a special Initiative committee. Subsequently, communication regarding the approval/rejection of its request is sent to the applicant institution.
  • 3All approved applications are then individually processed as subsidy cases. External agencies are contacted to arrange the maximum subsidy/financial assistance possible for applicants.
  • 4Once the committee obtains in-principle confirmation of grant availability for the applicant institution, the institution is requested to apply separately for a subsidy and await the decision.
  • 5Once arranged, the applicant institution is informed of the subsidy and amount. The relevant offices and teams of the Initiative coordinate to complete the process of awarding subsidies to the applicant institution.
  • 6The applicant institution can then proceed to pay the reduced fee/cost to commence the accreditation process.
  • 7Institutions unable to complete the accreditation process successfully can reapply within six months without charge.
  • 8The official accreditor assigned to an institution is well within its rights to refuse refund of fee paid, in case the institution fails to complete the accreditation process.
  • 9WDSI subsidy lapses within 3 months of award if the awardee institution fails to complete the accreditation project with the assigned accreditor.
  • 10Post accreditation, an accredited institution is required to follow the compliance norms of the accrediting body, and WDSI has no role to play in the continuation of its accreditation.
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The World Data Science Initiative offers subsidies only for accreditation and CoE set-up services. A few essential facts about the Initiative must be kept in mind by all applicants:

  • The Initiative does not offer cash assistance to any beneficiary institution. This implies that the accrediting bodies are directly paid the subsidy amount. Reduced fee/cost must be paid by the beneficiary institution, as mentioned in the invoice raised by the accrediting body.
  • The Initiative does not release the subsidy amount immediately upon approval of an application/request.
  • The Initiative does not operate on any contractual arrangement with educational or credentialing institutions. Hence, the Initiative does not automatically approve a subsidy for an applicant institution because of reasons of precedent or contract.
  • The Initiative is not bound to approve subsidies for applicant institutions that have received a subsidy in the past.
  • A WDSI shortlisted/awardee institution does not earn the right to declare itself a WDSI-affiliated Institution until it has obtained accreditation and its accreditation status is in good standing.
  • Approval of a subsidy does not guarantee a grant of accreditation. WDSI has no role to play in any of the processes of accreditation, and accrediting bodies have the final say in the decision.
  • Accreditation is provided only by WDSI-approved official accreditors, and WDSI may assign any one of the empaneled accreditors to an applicant institution.
  • WDSI has no role to play in the maintenance and continuation of an institution’s accreditation and the accredited institution is required to comply with all prescribed norms of the accrediting bodies.
  • All applicant institutions are barred from advertising or communicating through any means on any external/public platform any claim or message regarding being a member of WDSI, undergoing accreditation process, being a WDSI subsidy awardee, etc. Any such communication deemed essential must be approved by WDSI before its release.

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