Monday, May 4, 2009

Free online University for Disadvantaged Groups of People

Self-made millionaire, Shai Reshef (left) is starting an online university that offers free tuition for disadvantaged groups of people called University of People.

I've posted before on the goodness of open source education. It seems like you don't have to pay the exhorbitant fees to get an education from world class institutions like MIT, Stanford, and even the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). Many universities are taking to posting their best classes online for everyone's benefit.

So in the midst of this economic crisis, I liked that Shia Reshef started a free university online called the University for People. Here's the beginning of the article:

Shai Reshef, a self-made millionaire, has a lot of experience starting businesses. In 1989, he helped to transform a small Israeli test-prep company, Kidum Group, with only $100,000 in yearly revenue into the largest for-profit educational services company in Israel. Reaching nearly $25 million in revenue, the company was snapped up by the larger test prep giant Kaplan in 2005. Reshef is also credited with starting the first online university in Europe in 2001. The venture, based in the Netherlands, wasn't very successful but was acquired by Sylvan Learning Systems, now Laureate Education.

Reshef has now turned his sights to starting the first tuition-free online university for disadvantages students. The new school has opened its doors, figuratively speaking, and is open for enrollment beginning this week. Reshef, the founder and president of The University of the People (UoP), visited's Nicole Marie Richardson in New York City to discuss his new venture and its intriguing tuition-free business model.

Read more here.

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