Monthly Archives: January 2013

University of the People – The world’s first tuition-free online university



University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first tuition-free, non-profit, online academic institution dedicated to opening access to higher education globally for all qualified individuals, despite financial, geographic or societal constraints.

Founded in 2009 by educational entrepreneur Shai Reshef, UoPeople is affiliated with the United Nations GAID, the Clinton Global Initiative, and Yale Law School ISP. UoPeople has signed collaborative partnership agreements with New York University (NYU) to accept students; and with Hewlett-Packard (HP), through the Catalyst Initiative, to provide student internship opportunities. UoPeople offers undergraduate programs in Business Administration and Computer Science. To date, more than 1500 students from 135 countries have been admitted. Of students polled consecutively each term, 95% would recommend UoPeople to a peer.

With its tuition-free online programs, University of the People is opening access to higher education for all those constrained, as well as building a scalable and replicable model capable of changing the very nature of higher education. The non-profit UoPeople has managed to succeed in cutting down almost the entire cost of higher education, and does not charge for tuition or books/materials. All that is asked is for students to pay a one-time application processing fee ($50) and subsequent modest examination processing fees ($100) levied per course. There are no other fees whatsoever.

UoPeople strives to ensure, in keeping with its mission, that no qualified individual is excluded for financial reasons. To assist students in financial need, UoPeople has dedicated student scholarship funds. Corporate sponsors include Hewlett-Packard’s sponsorship of 100 HP Scholars as part of the UoPeople Women Scholarship Fund; and Intel Foundation’s sponsorship of women students from Haiti. Soon, UoPeople will launch a Micro-Scholarship Portal, the first of its kind, to allow donors to contribute to individual students.

To read more about University of the People, you may view this one-page brochure.

Likewise, you may view this lovely report, UoPeople: The First Three Years.

UoPeople is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing universal access to higher education
Shai Reshef, UoPeople’s Founder and President, has 20 years of experience in the international education market
Presidents Council
UoPeople’s Presidents Council is comprised of presidential leadership from top-tier universities around the world.
Advisory Boards
A team of distinguished academics and humanitarians whose work mirrors UoPeople’s goals.
Partners & Allies
University of the People works with various organizations to help further access to higher education
Institutional Donors
University of the People (UoPeople) is appreciative of the supportive donations and grants received from numerous foundations, corporations, and individuals aligned with the mission of the institution.
Media & Press Information
University of the People (UoPeople) in the media
Since its launch in 2009, University of the People has taken great strides as the world’s first tuition-free, online academic institution.
What is UoPeople’s learning model? Who are the students?
UoPeople in the media
Contact Us
To donate, volunteer or study at UoPeople, please contact us

Economic and geographic constraints exclude millions of people from higher education. With the aid of technological developments and the help of volunteers, however, access to a tuition-free online education is now within reach.

University of the People is a nonprofit venture that is beginning to revolutionize higher education by providing universal access to tuition-free online education, even in the poorest areas of the world.

With a few keystrokes, UoPeople takes the concept of social networking and applies it to academia, providing a global classroom for all students that seek access to online higher education.  Shai Reshef, UoPeople President and Founder, credits open-source technology and the increasing access to the Internet in making tuition-free, online education available to people all around the world.

Online learning is a growing trend in the United States of America. According to a survey by the Sloan Consortium, approximately 4 million students are currently enrolled in online education in the United States. As a tuition-free online education service, UoPeople takes the concept of e-learning to an unprecedentedly broader and global audience.

UoPeople operates on a limited budget without sacrificing the quality of education by employing collaborative and open-source e-learning. UoPeople embraces peer-to-peer and collaborative learning to provide university-level programs to a global student body. Within the online study communities, students share resources, exchange ideas, discuss weekly topics, submit assignments and take exams.

A community of educators comprised of active and retired professors, librarians, master-level students and other professionals participate in the educational activity and oversee the assessment process of this tuition-free online education model.

UoPeople offers tuition-free education, and charges only processing fees for Applications and Examinations. The Application Processing Fee is between $10-$50 as adjusted on a sliding scale based on the economic situation in each applicant’s country or place of residence. Additionally, beginning with all new applications started August 27, 2012, UoPeople has implemented an Exam Processing Fee of $100 per course. Students unable to pay the Exam Processing Fee may apply for a scholarship. 


University of the People – The world’s first tuition-free online university.

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