University of the People (UoPeople) is the Education Revolution. It is the first non-profit, tuition-free, American accredited online university. Dedicated to opening access to higher education globally, UoPeople is designed to help qualified high school graduates overcome financial, geographic, political, and personal constraints keeping them from collegiate studies. The university offers associate and bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, computer science, and health science as well as master’s degree programs in business administration and education. UoPeople was founded in 2009 and accredited in February 2014. Today, it has over 17,000 students enrolled from more than 200 countries and territories. 1,000 of these students are refugees, of whom 600 are Syrian.
UNESCO estimates that, by the year 2025, there will be nearly 100 million young people seeking seats in universities that don’t exist. UoPeople is an essential part of avoiding such a tragic missed opportunity for would-be students. The university believes that access to higher education can promote world peace and global economic development. As a basic right, higher education can transform not only the lives of students, but also their families’ lives, their communities, their nations and, by extension, the world.
The university is directed by President Shai Reshef, an education entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience, and by distinguished international boards of trustees and advisors. Its President’s Council is led by current and former leadership from several of the world’s foremost institutions, including: John Sexton, President Emeritus of NYU; George Rupp, President Emeritus of Columbia University; Catharine Bond Hill, President Emerita of Vassar College; Nicholas Dirks, former chancellor of UC Berkeley; Judith Shapiro, President Emerita of Barnard College, and Nobel Laureate Torsten N. Wiesel, President Emeritus of The Rockefeller University. More than 7,000 professionals have volunteered for the university, including those filling key UoPeople leadership positions.
UoPeople has academic partnerships with NYU, the University of Edinburgh, and UC Berkeley, where qualified UoPeople students may apply to transfer and continue studies. 92% of UoPeople graduates are employed, including at such companies as Amazon, Apple, Dell, Deloitte, IBM, Microsoft, and JP Morgan, as well as institutions such as the UN and the World Bank.
UoPeople is supported by the generosity of individuals and foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Fondation Hoffmann, The Ford Foundation, and more. UoPeople has been covered by the New York Times, BBC, NPR, Times Higher Education, US News and World Report, and more. President Reshef’s TED Talk about the university and its mission has over 5.5 million views.
UoPeople is building a sustainable new model for higher education, in which students are asked to pay only a $100 assessment fee at the end of each course ($200 in the MBA). One year of study (10 courses) costs $1,000, and a four-year bachelor’s degree is only $4,000. For students who might find even these modest fees prohibitive, the university offers a variety of scholarships, to fulfill the part of its mission that no qualified student will be left behind for financial reasons.