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February 16, 2021

Effat University and University of the People Partner to Promote Women’s Education

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 JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA and PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, USA – Feb. 16, 2021 — Effat University, the first private institution of higher education for women in Saudi Arabia, and University of the People (UoPeople), the first non-profit, tuition-free, American, accredited, online university have signed an agreement to provide access to quality educational opportunities for women.

This partnership offers female students from both institutions the chance to pursue a variety of fields at the undergraduate level, as well as at the graduate level. Both UoPeople and Effat understand the importance of encouraging women globally, but especially in the Arab world, to obtain a university degree.

“Effat University is proud to collaborate with the University of the People, and to continue strengthening international partnerships that will give Effat’s programs a global quality, in fulfillment of its mission of cooperation and interaction with many educational institutions,” said President of Effat University, Dr. Haifa Jamal Al-Lail. “Effat University has proven through partnerships that education on a global level does not require long trips abroad, a careful and thoughtful selection of agreements with leading institutions ensure that the university is an incubator for tomorrow’s pioneers, with the finest education, to become leaders in their fields.  Combining the latest fields of education, and our Saudi & Islamic heritage, and we can offer our students a world-class education here in Jeddah.”

After two years at UoPeople, female undergraduates will be able to transfer to complete their bachelor’s degree programs in Business Administration, Computer Science, or Psychology at Effat University. Moreover, after two years of psychology studies at Effat University, students will be able to complete their bachelor’s degree in Health Science at UoPeople. Similar arrangements exist for bachelor’s level programs in Architecture, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Information Systems and Visual and Digital Production.

Bachelor’s degree holders from both institutions, male and female, will be able to pursue an MBA, Master’s in Education (M.Ed.) and Master’s in Finance at either institution. Scholarships will be made available for students in need of financial assistance.

“While UoPeople partners with institutions including Harvard Business School Online, NYU, UC Berkeley, and the University of Edinburgh, this represents our first agreement in the Middle East,” said Shai Reshef, President of University of the People. “We are incredibly excited to give our students the opportunity to transfer to a brick-and-mortar university in the region, especially at such a prestigious and mission-driven institution as Effat University.”

“The world is opening its eyes to the power of online education,” said Lisa Anderson, member of UoPeople’s President’s Council and President Emerita of the American University in Cairo. “The Arab world has been slow to adopt online learning; this agreement, combined with UoPeople’s 2,500 students studying in Arabic, is breaking down these artificial barriers and demonstrating the quality of online education.”

About University of the People

University of the People (UoPeople) is the Education Revolution. It is the first non-profit, tuition-free, American accredited online university. Currently, there are over 57,000 students from over 200 countries and territories. Designed to open access to higher education globally, UoPeople helps 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 an MBA and M.Ed. program. Graduates of UoPeople can be found working at such companies as Deloitte, Amazon, Apple, Pfizer, Microsoft, and Wells Fargo. UoPeople partners with Harvard Business School Online, New York University (NYU), University of California (UC) Berkeley, and The University of Edinburgh and is supported by foundations such as The Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Hewlett Foundation. Last fall, UoPeople launched University of the People in Arabic, the first online university of its kind in the Arabic-speaking world, to provide tuition-free, American, accredited higher education for refugees and other Arabic speakers. UoPeople is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Learn more at

About Effat University:

Effat University, located at the heart of the vibrant city of Jeddah, and it’s the first private institution of higher education in Saudi Arabia, operating under the umbrella of King Faisal Foundation. Effat University has full national institutional and programs academic accreditation and in addition to several American accreditations, such as ABET and NAAB for some of its programs such as engineering and architecture programs.  The University offers rigorous educational graduate and undergraduate programs conducive to lifelong learning within four colleges; Effat College of Humanities, Effat College of Engineering, Effat College of Business, and Effat College of Architecture and Design.

At Effat, our students are inspired and motivated to gain a true passion for advancement in a place where academic programs are innovative and stimulating. Our worldwide academic partnerships with universities such as Georgetown, Syracuse, Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Auburn, Tisch School, Western Sydney, and Tokai bring new perspectives to our programs. Furthermore, the Ambassador’s Program –co-curricular activities and experiences- open up new horizons for our students.