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When an Israeli Provides Free Academic Education to the World

An African teenager solving a math question in a blackboard linked to university of the people

Remember that nagging sense of urgency when you feel like you should be doing something productive? Or can you think of a time when some future plans never worked out as you hoped they would? But at some point, you realize that sometimes life circumstances are simply out of your control. Luckily, many of you would figure out creative and alternative ways to accomplish what it is that you want. Often times you’d turn to an educational source to acquire a new skill and explore new horizons which result in the sense of accomplishment. However, for millions across the world, being stuck in life-imposed circumstances with no foreseen alternative is just, well… LIFE. With no way out.

A door opened to a brick wall that simbolizes the inability of many people in the world who have no alternatives so the university of the people can help them get a new option to explore

In many developing…

and developed countries around the world, an elementary education is hard to come by, let alone a higher one. There are various reasons why many potential students worldwide do not pursue an academic degree. Today, a higher education has become financially unattainable to the point where it became an amenity for the privileged. Other than financial constraints, inequalities produced from socioeconomic, geographic, gender, health, and religious affiliation all contribute to economic and social disparities.

an elementary class room showing drawings of objects for children to read to show that in many plces in the world an elementry education is hard to achieve

Shai Reshef

Israeli entrepreneur and educational philanthropist, Shai Reshef, presents a new alternative for qualified students worldwide to achieve a higher education; regardless of their geographic, social and financial class. He established the very first nonprofit online university; the University of the People (UoPeople). It’s the first online university of its model that provides an accredited degree that’s accessible to anyone in the world with a high school diploma.

Shai Reshef at his Ted Talk about the University of the Peole

Reshef had previously led various for-profit educational services in Israel and Europe. As he retired from leading profitable businesses, he managed to figure out a way to give back. The UoPeople provides any high school graduate with the chance to pursue new educational opportunities. It offers majors with a high market demand that will ensure its students a job when they graduate. Obtaining an academic degree will provide them with a comparative advantage for social mobility. It will pull them out of the cycle of financial and sociocultural limitations, which convey a natural occurrence in underprivileged circles. The idea is to help design better quality individuals which are the predictors of better future communities wherever they may be. This is an initiative to create a new high-quality world-citizen to ensure a future safer world.

a close up of 3 African high school graduates to convey a new hope for the future when they'll be able to sign up for the university of the people by Shi Reshef

Hope for the Future

Aristotle said it: “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”. Shai Reshef took this sentiment to the next level. He created a platform that will result in bettering the lives of people with little to almost no opportunities. Through the University of the People, Reshef aspires to help push forward the academic dreams of millions of motivated individuals. Regardless of inequalities produced from geocultural restrictions, high-school graduates from around the world have a fresh, new hope for the future. And at the same time, there’s one more additional accomplishment for Israeli pride.

An Asian mom and son sitting outside at the countryside with a laptop showing that the mom could study at the university of the people while keeping her obligations to her family

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Arielle Dadon
Arielle Dadon
Arielle is an avid sun worshiper when it's not hot outside, has a talent for brilliant yet unrelated conversation starters, and will always notice life’s ironies which all make for great stories! She's always up for an adventure and never misses an opportunity to sing along to Disney classics. If you ever find her unable to produce a coherent sentence, she's probably in the midst of a laugh attack.

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