Term 5

As founder and President of University of the People, I am writing to you, our devoted fans and committed students, to help spread our cause and democratize education.

Some of us take education for granted; we have the opportunity to access education right before us and we rarely have had to worry about it. Yet there are millions of people around the world who are not privileged enough and do not receive any formal education.Together we can change this.

University of the People is the world’s first tuition-free, online academic institution and we are dedicated to the global advancement and democratization of higher education.

I believe we can make a difference; I believe that education is power. It is through education that we can change the world, we can make it a better place and bring peace to the world.

Let’s make the world a better place. Invite your friends to join our facebook page and spread the word to your family and friends. We are here to make a difference.

I am proud to congratulate the additional 80 new students who will start Term 5 tomorrow, we wish you all the best of luck on your road to improve your life and in helping us on our mission to democratize education.


About President Shai Reshef

Starting in 1989, Shai Reshef served as chairman of the Kidum Group, a test preparation company, which he sold in 2005 to Kaplan, one of the world’s largest education companies. While chairman of Kidum, he built an online university affiliated with the University of Liverpool, enrolling students from more than 100 countries; that business was sold to Laureate, another large for-profit education company, in 2004. A vessel for universal higher education, UoPeople has the enormous potential to function as a global stimulus package, reaching even the most remote and poorest places on earth. Our ultimate mission is to democratize higher education and, if the past two years are any indication, this is not merely a pipe dream.
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14 Responses to Term 5

  1. Becky

    It appears you don’t fully understand what this phrase ‘education should be a right, not a privilege’ appears to mean, Becky. Let’s look at it from this angle. I am an African, from Nigeria. And where I come from, when food is on the table, it is the right of every child in the house to come to the table and eat. But before you begin to eat, you must:
    1. Wash your hands to be very clean
    2. Say a little prayer
    3. Wait for your elderly ones to begin
    4. Then you follow

    and after you are done eating, you are required to say ‘thank you mummy, thank you daddy’ and ‘thank you elder brother’ and so on until you have fully shown that you were pleased with your breadwinners.

    But when a child refuses to wash his or her hands, that child will not be allowed to eat.
    But food is on the table, ready for the child. Do you understand this at all?

    Now you said even University of the People does not accept everyone. And because of this, the philosophy of ‘education should be a right, not a privilege’ is not in practice. University of the People is a higher institution of learning and has been made available to all peoples from all corners of the globe, but to be accepted for studies at the university, you first must ‘meet the requirements’. Or are you not aware that there are so many universities in the world whose entry requirements are fully met by students of all races in the world, yet will admit only those with their tuition fees ready!

    University of the People has a mission to educate anyone in the world who is ready to be educated. And my dear sister, well over 80% of the world’s problems are caused by stark illiteracy, especially in Africa.

    You must understand that true education is not obtained only in the higher institutions of learning. Long lists of those who never sat down before a professor in the university but went on to shake the world with inventions and discoveries abound. But everyone can’t take that path. One author of world history books has rightly defined ‘civilization’ as the state of being able to peacefully co-exist with your neighbours. PEACEFULLY. Did you get that? That is what true education can do to the mind.

    For me, writing, I could not go to a higher institution of learning after my Senior School Certificate of Education in my country. My mates went on fast. Why? They had parents who were ready to support them. But I didn’t. I had only myself to support my younger ones come up to the high school level, not even to go beyond. But I did not relent on my efforts to learn. Today, even though I have not been to any higher institution of learning, I can say that I am a bit educated. And that’s because I continued reading anything and everything I came across.

    I have just applied to University of the People, hoping they will accept me. And when they do, I’ll become a graduate, and even proceed to become a university professor! You laugh? Don’t worry, you’ll see.

  2. Afolabi Omowunmi says:

    This is one of the greatest investment anyone can give to the next generation….”EDUCATION”

  3. simplified registration UoPeople advice not only from the website, but also allowed from facebook.

  4. Edwin Guzman says:

    June 28, 2010
    As a new student at the University of the People I feel that the experience does not compare with any other system of higher learning I have attended.
    It truly is a grate experience of intellectual growth with all resources literally at your “finger tips”; just a with a click you will find libraries to research all you need (books, journals, reference…etc.).
    Students have the opportunity to discuss the assigned material with unlimited approaches pertaining to the matter. The interaction between students and faculty is the most efficient I have experienced.
    Thank you Mr. Reshef for building this grate institution. I will recommend this University to all people I can.

    • Shai Reshef says:

      I would like to thank you for your kind words of support for both myself and University of the People.

      It is students and supporters like yourself who add extra value to our initiative.

      We are grateful for your encouragement and hope we can further spread our message and enable many more people to access tuition free education.

      I wish you best of luck.

      Kind regards,

      Shai Reshef

  5. TINSAE says:


  6. TINSAE says:

    i am happy to join your universty

  7. Becky says:

    Although I applaud the founder for providing this free opportunity to individuals around the world, I have to admit, I get frustrated when I read many of the comments about the “right to an education”..

    People have a right to learn, but education is a privilege. All the basic rights a person has exists without any need of another person to lose their rights in order to provide that right. Education (i.e. school) cannot be a basic right because it would force people to become teachers, it forces people to pay for schools AND if forces schools to continue to educate despite someone being disruptive, not applying themselves, cheating, not following the rules, etc.. School therefore is a privilege, not a right. Even UofP is a privilege as only a select few are accepted based on the guidelines and requirements of the school.

    That doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with providing tools for learning as many schools have done through Open course, online videos or through UofP. It is with great applause that these opportunities are available. That doesn’t change the distinction of rights versus privileges. It does provide opportunities for someone to learn, a basic and God given right.

    • Edwin Guzman says:

      I do think that education should be a right of all people because the more educated a person is the better off is our society.
      Now, should there be norms to prevent abuse that will cause disruption, or criminality? Yes, definitely, and immediate appropriate actions need to be instituted to guarantee the preventions of any disruption or criminal behavior. That is why all institutions have regulations, laws, etc., including government.
      Should it be a choice to pursue an education? Yes, it should not be an obligation imposed to any one.
      Education not being a right has prevented many around the world not to pursue an education, even in the United States of America were I was born and raised.
      I have seen many lament not being able to afford the high cost of an education.
      It should not be a privilege in that this implies exclusiveness and education should be inclusive. The evolution of our knowledge, as an extension, our society, and the whole of humanity depends on it.

    • Demopoly says:

      There are many scientists who will disagree with you. I believe that Education is a basic Human Right. People *do* have a fundamental right to an education, and it is for that reason that education in the United States, as in many other nations, is mandatory and compulsory.

      What is the point of an inadequate education, though? Almost everyone needs to go to college these days. A simple High School diploma is not even enough for some service sector jobs! If you want a solid middle class, then an education system must be in place that the average person can afford. This is not the case in America. Germany = free. Canada = free. America = ~$36,600.00 per year. [or 32K total for an Associates Degree.]

      The United Nations council on Human Rights is a good place for you to start reading. “The Economist” is another. Education is far too important for the future of an entire nation, not an exclusive world for a few privileged people. This isn’t the 1800s. A modern global society requires a competitive, educated, and liberal middle class.

  8. Daniel Oljira says:

    It is the Universtiy of millions of Ethiopians. I am registered online and send my document’s copy… waiting for starting the study…

  9. darren ramon says:

    i wanted to express my appreciation for making this school a reality. i have made many bad choices in my life but being part of this wonderful experience is a CHOICE

    • darren ramon says:

      sorry about that. i’m typing with one hand after surgery. in completing my recent comment, being a part of this school is the best decision i have made and a choice i will always treasure.

      thank you again for making my dreams come true.


      • Gebremikael Gebrehiwot says:

        it gives me great pleasure in my life to write for the University of the People as the cor point of the knowledge

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