Bill Gates’ Foundation Donates $500,000 to Tuition-Free University

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University of the People (UoPeople), the world’s first tuition-free, non-profit online university currently seeking accreditation, announced that they received a $500,000 donation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Announcement of this grant follows other donations from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Intel Foundation and William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Shai Reshaf, President and Founder of UoPeople said in a statement, “We are working very hard on the attainment of accreditation, and are extremely proud of having the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnering with us in this quest. Accreditation is important for us, our students and our graduates to as it will afford students significantly better employment prospects upon graduation – thus further improving their lives”.

Ahn Nguyen, a Senior Program Officer on the foundation’s Postsecondary Success team was quoted as saying, “UoPeople is a part of an emerging set of programs and institutions that is challenging the status quo and effectively meeting non-traditional student needs by leveraging innovative pedagogical and business practices and providing affordable, quality paths to postsecondary credentials. We are proud to be a part of the next major step for UoPeople: attaining accreditation”.

The grant provided by Bill Gates’ foundation comes at a time when the University is benefiting from widespread support for its initiatives  including those from some of the world’s top tier universities and their leaders. Recently started UoPeople Presidents Council includes individuals from institutions like Oxford, New York University, the Indian Institute of Technology and George Washington University.

Currently there are more than 1,500 students, ages 18-72, enrolled in undergraduate business and computer science  programs at UoPeople from 130 countries around the world including places like the United States, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, China, Spain, Colombia, South Korea, Egypt, Jordan, Mozambique and Saudi Arabia. The university leverages open-source technology to deliver courses online and benefits from volunteers from around the world for all aspects of its operation. Educational activities are supported by a community of educators, comprised of active and retired professors.

Partnerships with corporate enterprises like Hewlett Packard enables a select number of the University’s students to participate in research internships opportunities within areas such as education, technology and health.

For more information, visit: UoPeople

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