Shai Resef, who has obtained accreditation for his University of the People, is now developing an MBA program that does not charge tuition. The Israeli entrepreneur has already seen success with University of the People’s undergraduate offerings, also without tuition. The four offerings are for a bachelor’s or associate’s degrees in business and computer science. Although students don’t pay tuition they are charged $100 per exam, but there are many scholarships available, with donations from Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft.
UoPeople has been revolutionary in providing degrees for those who could otherwise not afford it. A third of the students are from the U.S., with many from Africa and the Middle East. Accreditation was a big step for the online university, and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission gave the university the green light.
Mr. Reshef said, “It offers assurance that UoPeople provides valuable instruction by qualified professors, offers services created for the benefit of its students, employs ethical admissions policies and engages in continual self-improvement.”
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Accreditation has boosted admissions fourfold. Currently enrolled are 2, 500 students from more than 150 countries. The MBA represents a new stage in the university’s development. Roxie Smith is developing the program in conjunction with Russell Winer of NYU’s Stern School of Business. The Board includes Stephen Chambers of the Skoll Center for Entrepreneurship and former director of Oxford University’s MBA program in conjunction with the Said School of Business.