University of the People gains accreditation

An online university established to take higher education to disadvantaged students around the world has received accreditation

March 2, 2014

The University of the People, which offers undergraduate degrees in computer science and business administration, has been accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council in the US just in time for its first graduating class, which is due to complete its studies in April.

Although students pay a registration fee determined by the gross domestic product of their country of residence, along with a $100 (£60) administration fee for each exam they sit, those who cannot afford it can apply for a range of scholarships.

To complete an undergraduate degree, 40 exams must be passed, bringing the total cost of a degree to around $4,000 (£2,400). The university currently has 700 students from 142 countries, although the first graduating class contains only seven students.

The university was launched in 2010 by Israeli entrepreneur Shai Reshef, who invested around £2 million of his own money in the project. “Accreditation is critical to UoPeople’s mission, attesting to the quality of education for our prospective students and their prospective employers,” said Mr Reshef.

“We have pursued this stamp of approval since day one, and are confident it will help pave the way for greater adoption of alternative models in education across the globe.”

Mr Reshef said he hoped the university would expand “significantly” following accreditation, and believes it will have 5,000 students by 2016.

John Sexton, president of New York University and chairman of UoPeople’s President’s Council said: “With the development of technology, we now can provide a quality higher education to able students in the United States and around the globe who, until now, did not have available to them the possibility of a college or university degree.

“It’s thrilling to think that with this accreditation, more students, employers and leaders will begin to recognise the worth of a UoPeople degree.”

chris.parr@tsleducation.com

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Globalisation

Times Higher Education World University Rankings data reveal the top 200 most outward-looking institutions

Common cactus finch (Geospiza scandens)

Tiffany Taylor on a thought-provoking view of the forces acting to ensure survival

Stressed businessman answering four telephones

Some surveys show faculty putting in at least 60 hours a week, but research casts doubt on whether this is a productive routine

Student asking question during class

University of Reading research finds link between undergraduate satisfaction and ethnicity of lecturers

Level of quality compass

Authors argue this means universities should spend less on senior academics and give promising younger scholars more of a chance