University of the People stands with DACA and undocumented students

University of the People stands with DACA and undocumented students


Pasadena, CA. August 30, 2017 – As pressure mounts on President Trump to abolish the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, University of the People (“UoPeople”) announces that it will stand in solidarity with all students in the United States who find their futures threatened by the imminent rescindment.


“As an American university dedicated to providing every qualified student with accessible, affordable, high quality higher education and a chance for a better life, we wish to express to anyone who may lose their right to study in the US because of this directive, that they do have an alternative. As President Trump may close the gates to 800,000 people, we will be opening our gates even wider.” UoPeople President Shai Reshef said.   


Founded in 2009, University of the People is the first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited American online university. To date, the university has enrolled nearly 10,000 students from more than 200 countries and territories around the world – almost half of whom reside in the US. Recently, the university has seen a significant spike in enrollment from immigrants in the US, among those, refugees, DACA and undocumented students. According to a recent student survey, 69% of US-residing students reported being immigrants, of whom, approximately 30% are DACA or undocumented.


“It is our duty to support anyone who wants to improve their lives through education,” says Reshef. “We believe firmly in higher education as a basic right for all and not a privilege for the few. The gates are open at UoPeople. Students can study online from wherever they are, regardless of their legal-status – toward a tuition-free, American accredited degree.”



About University of the People:

University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited American online university dedicated to opening access to higher education globally. Using open-source technology, Open Educational Resources, peer-to-peer learning, and the assistance of academic volunteers worldwide, UoPeople is designed to provide access to university degree programs for qualified high school graduates, despite political, financial, geographic, societal or personal constraints. UoPeople offers associates and bachelor degree programs in Business Administration, Computer Science and Health Science, in addition to an MBA.


Founded in 2009, UoPeople has partnered with New York University (NYU), University of California Berkeley and University of Edinburgh to accept students; Microsoft for scholarships, access to its certificate programs, mentoring, internships and employment opportunities; and Hewlett-Packard, for general support, scholarships for women and internships. The University is supported by a network of over 6,000 dedicated volunteers.


The institution has gained the widespread support of leading academics from leading universities around the world. Its President’s Council, chaired by New York University President Emeritus John Sexton, includes Oxford Vice-Chancellor Sir Colin Lucas, UC Berkeley former Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, and Nobel Laureate and President Emeritus of The Rockefeller University, Dr. Torsten N. Wiesel, among others. UoPeople is supported by The Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Fondation Hoffmann, and companies such as HP, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Western Union, Estee Lauder and many more.


About UoPeople President Shai Reshef:

President and founder of University of the People, Shai Reshef is an educational entrepreneur, with over 25 years of experience in the international education market. President Reshef has been widely recognized for his work with UoPeople. In 2010, the Huffington Post named him the ‘Ultimate Game Changer in Education,’ and WIRED included him in its list of the 50 people who will change the world. He was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business as well as a Top Global Thinker by Foreign Policy Magazine. Before founding University of the People, Reshef directed KIT e-learning, the first online university in Europe. Shai Reshef’s TED Talk has reached almost 5 million viewers.

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Contact: Sarah Vanunu

Director of Public Relations, University of the People

US: 626-219-8402; [email protected]