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University of the People – First free online university to receive accreditation

The University of the People has received the status as accredited online university by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) earlier this month. The decision of the DETC, an accrediting agency authorised by the US Department of Education, makes the University of the People the first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online academic institution worldwide and allows its students to receive a legally accredited university degree upon graduation.

Established in 2009 by US-based Israeli entrepreneur Shai Reshef, the University of the People offers undergraduate courses in business administration and computer science. The university works closely together and has partnership agreements with the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development (GAID), the Clinton Global Initiative, Yale Law School and the New York University. Moreover, it cooperates with Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard to offer its students scholarships, internship opportunities and mentoring programmes.

Its first class of seven students only will graduate this year and receive a Bachelor’s degree thanks to the official accreditation. Currently more than 700 students from 42 different countries follow courses at the University and given the recent accreditation news numbers are most likely to increase. 

University of the People - Press release

DETC - Report