Does University of the People’s free model rely on #OER & gifted time from retired profs & librarians?

It’s quite difficult to work out from the website quite what the foundation of the model is, but Open Educational Resources and gifted time seems to be part of the mix. This would be a really interesting case of the disruptive potential of OERs.

Clipped from


University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first tuition free online academic institution dedicated to the global advancement and democratization of higher education. The high-quality low-cost global educational model embraces the worldwide presence of the Internet and dropping technology costs to bring university-level studies within reach of millions of people across the world. With the support of respected academics, humanitarians and other visionaries, the UoPeople student body represents a new wave in global education.

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 within reach courtesy of University of the People.
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.

UoPeople operates on a limited budget without sacrificing the quality of education by employing collaborative and open-source e-learning. UoPeople embraces peer-based 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 plans to charge in the future only nominal Application and Exam Administration fees ($10-$50 and $10-$100 respectively) that could be adjusted on a sliding scale based on the economic situation in each student’s country or place of residence.
UoPeople is open to accept applications from applicants who submit a certificate of graduation from secondary school, demonstrate proficiency in English and have access to a computer and to an Internet connection.



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