Musk Plans STEM University in Austin

Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and chief engineer of SpaceX, CEO of Tesla, CTO and chairman of Twitter | Image by Frederic Legrand – COMEO/Shutterstock

Elon Musk intends to open a new university in Austin that will focus on STEM subjects.

Musk, a Texas transplant and the owner of multiple companies including Tesla, SpaceX, and X, formerly known as Twitter, is planning a $100 million investment in the new university through his charity called “The Foundation.”

The new school will begin with a STEM-focused primary and secondary school, but “intends ultimately to expand its operations to create a university dedicated to education at the highest levels,” reported Bloomberg.

According to tax filings, the new university will seek accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), according to Bloomberg. Dozens of colleges and universities in Texas are accredited by SACSCOC including Southern Methodist University, Dallas College, and even the Fashion and Art Institute of Dallas.

Filings show that the school is planning to teach in-person as well as remotely and will start with fifty students before scaling. The school plans to fund itself with tuition payments and private donations and the staffing process has already begun.

Musk’s unnamed university will launch alongside the privately-funded University of Austin, a new school set to open its doors in 2024 and which is aiming to be a haven for free speech, reported The Texas Tribune.

Demand for new universities seems to be increasing despite waning public faith in elite educational institutions.

A recent poll from U.S News-Harris shows that political controversies have damaged the reputations of higher education officials. The poll found that 58% of Americans believe “university leaders are failing students today” and only 45% of Americans “trust university leaders to do the right thing.”

The two planned universities will join the state’s flagship institution in Austin, the University of Texas at Austin.

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