Online universities are reshaping how people learn. Here’s how education is changing forever thanks to UoPeople.
Inspiring an education revolution, University of the People was created in 2009 with the mission to provide quality, online and tuition-free education to anyone seeking a degree from around the world. With nothing more than an internet connection, over 18,500 students from more than 200 countries and territories have been a part of the revolutionary university model.
According to recent data, studies have shown that 1 out of 5 students turn down attending their top choice college because of affordability. Additionally, there are reasons beyond financial constraints that keep people from pursuing higher education, such as familial obligations, health issues, geographic constraints, and the political situation of their countries.
But, these factors are no longer a reason to say no to higher education. Thanks to UoPeople’s unique model, education is changing forever for the better.
Here’s how it functions and why it works so well:
Accessibility, Plus Quality
While technology has been one of the largest advancements that has allowed this online educational model to gain traction, UoPeople has global partners who support the mission, university partnerships that increase the quality of education, program advisory boards who ensure the education is relevant for the workforce, and an equal mission to empower people regardless of their country’s political situation to pursue their dreams.
UoPeople’s global partnerships include well-known organizations like The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation for Hope. Notably, in 2012, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation helped pave the way to achieve accreditation through their generous support.
While UoPeople grants Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, students can also choose to continue their education at other traditional universities. Partnerships with NYU and University of California, Berkeley, for example, allow students to transfer their Associate credits from UoPeople to their institutions, applying the completed units towards earning a Bachelor’s degree.
Program Advisory Boards:
Across the four degree granting programs (Computer Science, Business Administration, Health Science, and Education), our advisory boards are made up of some of the most influential and reputable academic professionals who contribute their expertise to creating robust and preparatory curriculums that prepare students to enter the workforce.
It can’t be stated enough how important equal access to education is for all people to move the world towards peace. Starting in 2010, the University began its work to assist refugees by admitting 250 Haitian refugees with the assistance of the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2015, 500 Syrian refugees began studying with UoPeople, and today, roughly 600 Syrians, half of whom are still in Syria, are earning their degrees at UoPeople, despite the contentious political situation in their country.
Accessibility is only one part of the equation. UoPeople has solved the problem through the help of technology and its people to allow for equal access to knowledge. But, it wouldn’t be special if it weren’t for the quality of education, which is established through its university partnerships, small class sizes, peer pedagogical learning model, and professors from some of the best universities around the world leading the classes.
Flexibility and Second Chances
UoPeople has a place for everyone to earn an education. WIthout physical and geographical constraints and low admission requirements (English proficiency and high school completion), the flexible learning model has opened doors for those with pre-existing obligations, as well as those looking for their second chance. Here’s how it works:
As a 100% online university, you can study anywhere, anytime. This means that if you have familial obligations, health restrictions, and/or need to maintain your employment, part-time and full-time student options are available, and all you need is an internet connection to start learning.
For an American university in the 2017-2018 academic year, the average cost of tuition alone spans from roughly $10,000 to $35,000 per year. A lot of people begin studying only to realize they can’t afford it or that they have other responsibilities that are just getting in the way. However, they’ve already shelled out money, are in debt, and have nothing to show for it. Even if it’s not because of money, but rather a career change or the desire for advancement, UoPeople accepts transfer credits and makes your path to earning a degree mean that no part of your journey will have ever felt wasted.
A “Seat” for All:
According to UNESCO, by 2025, nearly 100 million prospective students will seek seats in universities that simply don’t exist because demand is too high. Additionally, there already so many students in countries like Nigeria who want to earn their education, but there is physically no place for them to go because there isn’t enough space available. UoPeople’s education revolution says goodbye to that restraint by opening its virtual and boundless doors to everyone.
Ensuring Education as Right
It’s already clear to see how UoPeople is changing education, but let’s take a look at how democratized the structure really is.
Low Barrier to Entry:
You’ve probably heard the saying, “It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, it’s all about where you’re going.” UoPeople believes that and admits students regardless of their past achievements. All you need is an application and proof of two things: English proficiency and high school completion. There are neither graduate level test scores required nor entrance essays.
You will never pay a tuition fee at UoPeople. However, there are some relatively small fees like the $60 application fee and assessment fees for tests.
Even with the very competitively affordable program, there are options for financial aid like scholarships and grants to help cover the costs. Here’s a list of some of the scholarships available.
The truly global nature of the program means that every class is made up with diverse students. The nature of the peer-to-peer model creates opportunities to network with people from all over the world to grow business opportunities and friendships.
UoPeople can function how it does thanks to over 7,000 volunteers who dedicate their time to offer mentorships, review course materials, assist students especially in developing countries, and host discussion groups.
Market Leadership and Unique Scalable Model
The system is designed for peer-to-peer review and honors a pedagogical model of education. This means that within the small class sizes of less than 30 students, peers interact with one another to optimize learnings. While course instructors still facilitate the class and are available to each student, the peer model is so efficient because in order to be able to teach something to another, you must really know it first.
Here’s a look at how it works from UoPeople’s President Shai Reshef from his TED Talk that has amassed over 6 million views.
Furthermore, the course list continues to grow, as do collaborative methods of designing the curriculums. For example, the Master’s in Education (M.Ed.) program worked with the International Baccalaureate (IB). The IB is a global leader in the provision of high-quality, accessible programs for K-12 students. IB programs are offered by nearly 5,000 schools, and upon completion of the M.Ed. at UoPeople, graduates are exempt from the Category 1 Workshop required by those who look to complete the IB program.
This showcases how courses are designed with employability as a top priority.
Increasing Supply of Employees in High-Demand Fields
Even as the course lists expand and degree programs are being added, it’s happening strategically. As you can tell, the four current programs of Education, Computer Science, Health Science, and Business Administration all share a very similar trait in that they are in high-demand.
Focus on Employability:
Along with the degrees themselves, there are multiple corporate partnerships and internship opportunities to grow your experience in your respective field while studying.
These degrees are in demand all around the world. For example, with 4 billion internet users globally, jobs in Computer Science are booming, and are naturally a job that can be done from anywhere.
Need for Teachers:
By 2027, 52.1 million students will enroll in primary and secondary education globally, so the demand for teachers is already outpacing the supply. According to a UNESCO statistical report, “in the next 14 years, countries must recruit 68.8 million teachers to provide every student with primary and secondary education.”
By earning your M.Ed. degree at UoPeople, you’re already in partnership with the International Baccalaureate and are distinctively prepared to teach anywhere in the world. The IB partnership means that you won’t have to be on a waiting list and pay large sums of money to qualify for jobs that require IB qualification.
The Change is Clear
The changing nature of education that UoPeople created clearly has positive effects on students and future leaders from all over the world. The program was devised with the mission in mind to provide accessible, affordable, and quality education to anyone regardless of personal and public limitations.
But then, UoPeople went even deeper to strategically devise programs that are focused on the trends in employment and world need, with degrees granted in four major fields: Computer Science, Business Administration, Health Science, and Education.
With its university partnerships, more than 7,000 volunteers, corporate partners, program advisory boards, top-notch professors, and a diverse student group of nearly 20,000 students, UoPeople is changing education forever, today and for the future.