October 30, 2014
(PASADENA, CA.) University of the People (UoPeople), the world’s first tuition-free, non-profit, accredited, online university, has received half a million USD in funding from Fondation Hoffmann. The bulk of the funding enables the University to launch development of a new health sciences program, while some of the money is allocated to student scholarships. With thanks to Swiss philanthropist Andre Hoffmann’s contribution through Fondation Hoffmann, and in addition to funding from pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, UoPeople is charging forward with the bold academic program. A degree in health sciences is in great demand in numerous developing countries. The academic quality of the new program, as with UoPeople’s other offerings, is to be rigorous as well as acutely suited to the challenges of today.

Andre Hoffmann, affirmed his commitment to global education, saying, “My family and I have always found it of the utmost importance to help individuals expand their potential and work toward healthy and economic stability for themselves and their community. Now more than ever we need high quality health science education. We are proud to support UoPeople with their initiative.”

UoPeople, now in its fifth year of operations and accredited, presently offers Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Computer Sciences, the two programs that are most in demand worldwide, and likeliest to lead UoPeople students – most of whom come from developing countries – to secure employment.

“UoPeople is demonstrating that quality higher education opportunities can be made available to people all over the world, and tuition-free,” says UoPeople president and educational entrepreneur Shai Reshef, who applauds the Hoffmann grant, which will be effective over the next two years. While tuition at UoPeople is free, there is a modest examination fee. The scholarship will enable motivated students from around the world, who cannot afford even the minimal fees, the opportunity to earn an accredited, academic degree from an American university. Reshef added, “With our mission to democratize education at the forefront for the millions of individuals currently constrained, I am extremely proud of the work we are doing and I’m excited for what’s ahead.”

About The Hoffmann Foundation:

The Hoffmann Foundation is a Swiss based grant making institution created in 2000 by André and Rosalie Hoffmann to support projects in Switzerland and abroad concerning sustainable development, international governance, education and culture. Its mission is to support the emergence and expansion of concrete projects which address global problems in today’s societies. André Hoffmann, an entrepreneur, private investor and a committed philanthropist, is an MBA graduate of INSEAD, where he now serves on the board – as well as on the boards of several other charities and companies.

About University of the People:

Amalgamating open-source technology, Open Educational Resources, peer-to-peer learning, and the assistance of volunteers, UoPeople is designed to provide access to college studies for qualified individuals, despite financial, geographic or societal constraints. UoPeople has enrolled over 2000 students from 148 different countries and is supported by a network of over 3,000 dedicated volunteers from the best universities. UoPeople Founder and President Shai Reshef was recently named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine. More at

Contact: Sarah Vanunu
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