Starbucks has announced it will fund UK employees through a Bachelor’s degree, in an expansion of its US education programme.
The coffee chain will offer 100 employees in the UK free tuition for a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree, through an online degree programmes from Arizona State University.
Martin Brok, president of Starbucks EMEA, said: “If we can remove the financial burden of the cost of a university degree while helping our partners gain skills that will set them up for future success – we can’t think of a better investment.”
Starbucks launched its partnership with Arizona State University in 2014, and has supported more than 18,000 US staff through the programme, with 2,400 graduates to date. UK applications open today and the first courses will begin in October 2019.
To qualify for this benefit, applicants must be a Starbucks employee based in a company-operated store in the UK and have completed three months’ continuous employment. Graduates cannot apply, nor can anyone participating in any other full-time education or training.
Having worked closely with employees to identify what employee benefits matter most to them, Starbucks said that many expressed how expensive it is study for a university degree – tuition fees for those studying in England can be up to £9,250 a year.
Starbucks said that creating opportunities like this for its staff results in a “deeper connection to the brand, customer connections and retention within the organisation”.
Developed and taught by the same university faculty who teach on campus in Arizona, more than 40 degree subjects are available including: Biological Sciences, Nutrition, Business Data Analytics, Women and Gender Studies, Tourism, Corporate Accounting, and Fine Arts & Design.
Courses will be delivered through an online portal to allow staff to learn in their own time, and the degree is a fully recognised qualification in the U.K.
“For those who have ever considered earning their degree and haven’t had the opportunity or those who’ve had to put their studies on hold, the Starbucks Degree Achievement Programme could be the chance they’ve been waiting for to earn their degree – with Starbucks here to pick up the bill,” added Brok.
In addition to the financial support, students who are admitted under the plan will also have a dedicated enrolment coach and academic advisor to support them through graduation.
Michael M. Crow, president, Arizona State University said: “ASU’s ability to scale through innovation and technology, allows us to reach learners across the globe, in the effort to provide an education to all who desire to learn. We are delighted to partner once again with Starbucks in this important step forward with the global expansion of our partnership.”