University of the People: Expanding & Almost Free

Shai Reshef

The NYTimes featured the University of the People created by Shai Reshef, the Israeli entrepreneur who spent $1 million to create the free university two years ago.

Mr. Reshef sees his project as a way to use the Internet to bring higher education to poor students around the world. It uses free software and has enlisted hundreds of volunteer professors — more, he said, than he has been able to use — to teach 10-week online courses to 1,000 students from more than 100 countries. Starting this fall, students will have to pay $10 to $50 for admission.

UoP isn’t accredited and won’t replace your state university, but it is another example of the global potential for almost anyone with a broadband connection to learning anything for free or cheap.

“We’re building a model to show that education can be way cheaper than it is, that in developing countries, they could choose to educate every person for not much money,” said Mr. Reshef, who has started and sold other education businesses, but sees the University of the People as a philanthropic contribution to global development.

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Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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