Tuition-free education for the world: Shai Reshef at TED2014

TED Blog

Shai Reshef. Photo: James Duncan Davidson Shai Reshef. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Shia Reshef believes higher education is a right, not a privilege. In January 2009, he founded University of the People (UoP), a virtual, tuition-free institution dedicated to opening up higher education to anyone in the world with a high school diploma and a willingness to learn — “regardless of who they are, where they live or what society says about them,” Reshef says at TED2014.

“We open the gates for every qualified student,” he says. “Any student from any part of the world with any Internet connection can study with us. We don’t use audio; we don’t use video; broadband isn’t necessary.” UoP currently serves students from 143 countries, including Syria, the US, South Africa, Jordan and Nigeria.

The way the university works is this, Reshef says: UoP keeps costs down by forgoing a brick-and-mortar institution and traditional textbooks, and by using volunteer staff…

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