Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Educational Entrepreneur - University of the People

Shai Reshef has begun accepting enrollment for his innovative nonprofit online University of the People. "We are opening the gates for students from all over the world, who may not have the means to study elsewhere," he said. "We see ourselves as part of a trend in education of opening information and using what's available."

The concept was born in the crossover of information technology, the open-source movement, and education. The University of the People will draw on free course material that has been made available in recent years under Creative Commons license by the likes of MIT (OpenCourseWare), Rice University (Connexions), and hundreds of other institutions. Students will discuss the material in online forums with other students from all over the world and with volunteer faculty--those who have signed up to teach so far are professors, retirees, graduate students, and professionals in their fields.

The UoP plans to offer accredited bachelor's degrees, starting in the fields of computer science and business administration, for a price that maxes out at $4000.

More at the New York Times

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