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September 25, 2020

President Shai Reshef Addresses the UN General Assembly On How to Tackle Education During COVID-19 and Beyond


“Higher education must be accessible and affordable in order to survive.”

[Pasadena, CA. September 25, 2020] – President Shai Reshef took to the virtual stage to address the Global Education Coalition, a side event to the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, to discuss how to tackle education during COVID-19 and beyond. Mr. Shai Reshef is President of University of the People, the first non-profit, tuition-free, American, accredited online university.

Speaking via teleconference, President Reshef shared that while the pandemic forced universities to move to the “new world” of online, this is the golden opportunity to experience the future of education.

“When implemented correctly, online education is the solution to the crisis in higher education,” he said. “Online education is not just putting lectures on zoom; rather, there is an entire pedagogy. You need to build in meaningful interaction for students, create virtual resources for students including advisors and librarians, and train instructors in addressing the unique challenges that online students face, such as motivation, self-discipline, and the ability to learn alone.”

President Reshef encouraged government and university leaders to replicate University of the People’s proven accessible, affordable and tuition-free model to ensure an equitable continuation of learning during and after this pandemic.

“According to UNESCO data, there are around 7 million higher education students at risk of dropping out. Going forward, it is clear that the only way for higher education to survive is if education is accessible and affordable. Only then can we open the gates to higher education to help the 7 million at risk and the hundred million more who could never have dreamed of attending university,” said President Reshef.

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. 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. UoPeople partners with 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, Hewlett Foundation, and companies such as HP, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Western Union, and many more. Learn more at

Media Contact:

Carrie Gray, Vice President of Public Relations,

University of the People

University of the People