University of the People
|Latin: Universitas Populi|
|Motto||The Education Revolution|
|Type||Private, DEAC accredited, approved by BPPE, nonprofit|
|Endowment||US$1.3 million (2013)|
|Students||20,157 (2019) |
|Undergraduates||15,247 (2019) |
|Postgraduates||4,910 (2019) |
University of the People (UoPeople) is an American nonprofit distance education institution of higher education that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. It was founded by entrepreneur Shai Reshef in 2009.
University of the People was launched by educational entrepreneur Shai Reshef in January 2009. Although the university has no campus due to its online distance learning nature, it uses a shared office in California as an office of admission.
The first intake of UoPeople students began studying in September 2009, studying for associate and bachelor's degrees in business administration and computer science. At that time, the school had no accreditation and did not charge any fees or tuition.
In September 2009, Yale Law School's Information Society Project (ISP) entered into a research partnership with University of the People, for the study of education over digital networks and social software platforms. In 2011, the university formed a partnership with the New York University at Abu Dhabi. In February 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the University of the People a grant of $613,282 for the purposes of helping the university earn national accreditation.
In 2013, the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) Association and MasterCard Worldwide announced that the University of the People was the winner of the 2013 ISIC Award. In August 2013, Microsoft launched its 4Afrika Scholarship program in collaboration with its 4Afrika Initiative and University of the People was the first participating higher-education institution.
In 2014 University of the People gained accreditation for degree granting programs through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
In March 2016, the university began offering an online MBA, with the course itself beginning in September 2016. The MBA is not accredited by any business school accreditation bodies (e.g. AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS). In April 2016, the university signed an articulation agreement with the University of California, Berkeley regarding top associate degree graduates. Also, from 2016 the University offers an associate and a bachelor's degree in Health Science.
In 2017 the University of Edinburgh partnered with the school so that graduates of the University of the People could complete a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree at the University. That same year, Olympian Simone Biles became a student and a spokeswoman for the school, and in 2018 she set up a scholarship fund to help financially struggling students.
According to the International Baccalaureate the organization partnered with the University of the People to offer a Master's of Education in Advanced Teaching which started in January 2019. In April 2019 it was announced in the World Economic Forum that the University of the People will be also launched in Arabic. On April 24, 2019 the University's first official virtual graduation ceremony took place.
University of the People is a nationally accredited online university in the United States. It is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). University of the People is also approved by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.
University of the People is tuition-free, but students must pay some administrative costs to cover course assessment fees. These include processing fees for applications and final exam assessments; however, students who cannot afford the administrative costs may be eligible for scholarships. Furthermore, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees the University of the People offers scholarships for refugees.
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- Accrediting Commission - Grant of Accreditation, DETC, February 13, 2014
Report from the Accrediting Commission - Renewal of Accreditation, DEAC, February 27, 2017
- University of the People, Council for Higher Education Accreditation/CHEA
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- "BPPE - University of The People". Retrieved March 20, 2019.
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