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 20,000 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 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.
UoPeople is directed by President Shai Reshef, 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, NYU; George Rupp, Columbia University; Catharine Bond Hill, Vassar College; Nicholas Dirks, UC Berkeley; Judith Shapiro, Barnard College; Eduardo J. Padrón, Miami Dade College, and Nobel Laureate Torsten N. Wiesel, The Rockefeller University. More than 11,000 professionals have volunteered for UoPeople, including those filling key UoPeople leadership positions.
UoPeople has academic partnerships with NYU, the University of Edinburgh, and UC Berkeley. 92% of UoPeople graduates are employed, including at such companies as Amazon, Apple, Dell, Deloitte, IBM, Microsoft, and JP Morgan, and institutions such as the UN and the World Bank.
UoPeople is supported by the generosity of individuals and foundations, including the Gates, Hewlett, and Ford Foundations, Fondation Hoffmann, 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 and Nas Daily interview about the University have over 20M views combined.
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). A four-year bachelor’s degree is only $4,060. For students who might find even these modest fees prohibitive, UoPeople offers a variety of scholarships, to fulfill the part of its mission that no qualified student will be left behind for financial reasons.
At the 2019 WEF Meeting in Jordan, UoPeople announced its intention to develop UoPeople in Arabic to serve the hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced persons in the MENA region who have no higher education alternative. Pending additional necessary resources for program development and approval by its accreditation agency, the DEAC, UoPeople will offer a degree in Business Administration and will provide a path to integrate into the English-language program.