University of the People

University of the People (UoPeople) is a private distance education university with its headquarters in Pasadena, California. It was founded by entrepreneur Shai Reshef in 2009.[3]

University of the People
Seal of UoPeople.jpg
University seal
Latin: Universitas Populi
MottoThe Education Revolution
TypePrivate distance education university
EstablishedJanuary 2009
EndowmentUS$1.3 million (2013)[1]
PresidentShai Reshef
Students27,039 (2020) [2]
Location, ,
United States
University of the People Logo.jpg
UoPeople President Shai Reshef and UoPeople Provost David Cohen


University of the People was launched by educational entrepreneur Shai Reshef in January 2009.[4] Although the university has no campus[5] due to its online distance learning nature, it uses a shared office in California as an office of admission.[6]

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.[5]

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.[7] In 2011, the university formed a partnership with the New York University at Abu Dhabi.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10][11] 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.[12]

In 2014 University of the People gained accreditation for degree granting programs through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC),[13] which is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).[14][15]

In March 2016, the university began offering an online MBA, with the course itself beginning in September 2016.[16] The MBA is not accredited by any business school accreditation bodies (e.g. AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS).[15] In April 2016, the university signed an articulation agreement with the University of California, Berkeley regarding top associate degree graduates.[8] Also, from 2016 the University offers an associate and a bachelor's degree in Health Science.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19][20][21]

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.[22] In April 2019 it was announced in the World Economic Forum that the University of the People will be also launched in Arabic.[23] On April 24, 2019 the University's first official virtual graduation ceremony took place.[24]

From January 2020 the International Baccalaureate started offering scholarships to students who are interested in taking the M.Ed. program of UoPeople. [25]


University of the People is a nationally accredited online university in the United States.[26] 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.[27]


University of the People is tuition fee free, but students must pay some administrative costs to cover course assessment fees.[28] These include processing fees for applications and final exam assessments; however, students who cannot afford the administrative costs may be eligible for scholarships.[19][29][30] Furthermore, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees the University of the People offers scholarships for refugees.[31]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ High, Peter (March 3, 2014). "A Conversation With The President Of The World's First Non-Profit, Tuition-Free, Accredited University". Forbes. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  2. ^ "Main page". UoPeople. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  3. ^ Lewin, Tamar (January 25, 2009). "Israeli Entrepreneur Plans a Free Global University That Will Be Online Only". New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
  4. ^ "It's Time to Give Back". Inc. April 20, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "An online university - with no fees". October 6, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  6. ^ "Online University For All Balances Big Goals, Expensive Realities". Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  7. ^ "Yale ISP and University of the People Partner for Digital Education Research". September 22, 2009. Archived from the original on August 14, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "U of the People, Berkeley Sign Articulation Agreement". Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "University of the People". Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. January 21, 2018. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017.
  10. ^ "Bringing Free Online Education to the World". Mastercard Newsroom. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  11. ^ "2013 ISIC Event". ISIC. Archived from the original on November 12, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "Microsoft introduces the 4Afrika Scholarship program". Microsoft. August 11, 2013. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017.
  13. ^ Accrediting Commission - Grant of Accreditation, DETC, February 13, 2014
    Report from the Accrediting Commission - Renewal of Accreditation, DEAC, February 27, 2017
  14. ^ University of the People, Council for Higher Education Accreditation/CHEA
  15. ^ a b "University of the People is accredited, not just as you might think". March 2, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  16. ^ "University of the People Launches MBA | AACSB BizEd Magazine". Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  17. ^ "Why Hundreds Of Asian Students Are Flocking To This Boutique Online University". Forbes. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  18. ^ "Partnership opens doors for students from adverse backgrounds". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Simone Biles speaks out about Nassar verdict in emotional interview with Hoda Kotb". Today. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  20. ^ Legatt, Aviva. "Why Simone Biles Chose An Online College Over UCLA". Forbes. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  21. ^ "Simone Biles extends helping hand to other U.S. foster kids". Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  22. ^ "University of the People Frequently asked questions:" (PDF). International Baccalaureate. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  23. ^ "WEF meeting in Jordan to address 'new platforms of cooperation'". Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  24. ^ "UoPeople Graduation Ceremony". Youtube. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  25. ^ "IB scholarships". Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  26. ^ "DAPIP". Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  27. ^ "BPPE - University of The People". Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  28. ^ "University of the People Online Tuition Free Degrees". Scholarships For Development. November 27, 2017.
  29. ^ Coughlan, Sean (July 19, 2016). "Refugees study at online 'university of anywhere'". BBC News. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  30. ^ Malo, Sebastien. "Between shelling and displacement, Syrian students seek degrees online". U.S. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  31. ^ "Cities #WithRefugees*". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved August 18, 2018.

External linksEdit