University of the People: A University by the People, For the People

University of the People
University of the People
“When you educate one person you can change a life; when you educate many you can change the world” – University of the People President and Founder Shai Reshef
Since 2009, Shai Reshef has been championing a global solution to make higher education attainable to everyone, no matter their social, geographic or economic status.

University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited, online academic institution dedicated to opening access to higher education globally for all qualified individuals (i.e. high school graduates with a high enough level of English and with access to an internet connection).
With a lot of hard work, using the expansiveness of the online market and backed by an army of 3,000+ volunteers, Shai founded University of the People ( His efforts didn’t go unnoticed and he has raised support from esteemed academics, prestigious businesses and even received the stamp of approval from former US Head of State, President Bill Clinton, as well as United Nations GAID, Yale Law School ISP, New York University (NYU), among many others.
From impoverished communities to first world countries, University of the People made sense and since opening its gates, has admitted students from over 150 countries! It isn’t entirely cost free but it’s close enough – tuition-free, non-profit and entirely online – it ticks all the right boxes.
The development of corporate partnerships with the likes of Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft aiding employment and internship opportunities for graduates and creating scholarships for students further strengthen the status of University of the People.
Challenges along the way have turned into success stories, as is the case in Haiti, where a better online accessibility setup was required. Shai and his team solved this by working with the local Haitian Connection Network, enabling the University to establish learning centers in Port–au-Prince, bringing the internet to 250 Haitian UoPeople students.
In 2014 after five short years, University of the People received its US accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), its greatest milestone yet and the primary means of assuring educational quality.
An obvious selection as the University of the Year, it follows the University of Cambridge in 2012 and the University of Dayton in 2013.
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