UoPeople in Arabic to Launch – A University Run by Refugees for Refugees


Currently, the UoPeople in Arabic program is under development and is not being offered to students at this time. Once the program has been completely developed, it will be submitted to our accrediting agency, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. The program specifics will only be announced when it is ready to be offered to students.


University of the People announces new initiative to offer tuition-free online education for Arabic-speaking refugees who lack access to higher education

[Jordan, April 6th, 2019]University of the People (UoPeople) the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, American-accredited online university, today announced the creation of UoPeople in Arabic, a first-of-its-kind online degree-granting school run primarily by refugees and designed for Arabic-speaking refugees – mainly from Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Iraq – and other qualified students.


“Our mission has always been to open the doors of higher education to all qualified students,” said Shai Reshef, President of University of the People. “UoPeople is proud to announce UoPeople in Arabic to help one of the most overlooked populations on the planet – refugees. By providing refugees with a quality university degree, we can help them create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. If education is the vehicle of transformation, then hope is the fuel propelling it forward.”


To date, University of the People has enrolled over 1,000 refugees, 600 of whom are Syrian—more than any other university in the world. Yet these numbers represent but a fraction of the number of refugees seeking a university education. In response to this obvious need, the University decided to develop UoPeople in Arabic which is modeled after UoPeople’s existing and highly successful English-language degree programs, in which over 18,500 students are currently enrolled.


UoPeople is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and the University will submit the new degree program for approval as well. While UoPeople is tuition-free, the University charges minimal administration fees of $100 per course. UoPeople in Arabic will charge similar low fees; however, University of the People will strive to provide full scholarships to those in need. UoPeople in Arabic presents a replicable educational model to ameliorate the plight of refugees.


“We’ve created the course content in Arabic to address one of the major obstacles for refugees who want to pursue higher education,” said John Sexton, Chairman of the UoPeople President’s Council and President Emeritus of New York University. “Not only are we developing a school for refugees, but we will staff the UoPeople in Arabic administrative and academic offices primarily with refugees, many of whom lost their jobs and were forced to flee their countries due to war. Essentially, we’re creating an eco-system of study and work for refugees who understand each other’s hardships.”


UoPeople in Arabic will initially offer associate degrees in Business Administration taught in Arabic. Throughout their courses, students will also be immersed in English Language courses built for their specific needs, so they can matriculate upon completion of the associate degree into the English-language bachelor’s degree program at University of the People.


The development of UoPeople in Arabic was made possible by generous grants to University of the People from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and two other anonymous foundations.



For more information, please contact:

Shai Reshef

President of UoPeople

[email protected]


Abby Berman Cohen

Vice President at The Rosen Group

[email protected]



About University of the People

University of the People (UoPeople; is the Education Revolution. UoPeople is the world’s first tuition-free, non-profit, American-accredited, online university dedicated to opening access to higher education globally to qualified students facing common barriers – financial, social, geographic, political – hindering their collegiate studies. With a groundbreaking online learning model and instructors from the world’s foremost academic institutions, UoPeople offers not only the opportunity to pursue a high-quality degree but also the opportunity to change one’s life.


Founded in 2009 by education entrepreneur Shai Reshef, the University has grown into a premiere online higher education platform, boasting a student body of more than 18,500 people representing more than 200 countries and territories. UoPeople has established partnerships with NYU, University of Edinburgh, and UC Berkeley and is supported by the generosity of individuals and foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and more. For more information on UoPeople, visit: