Shai Reshef

Education entrepreneur
By offering a tuition-free university education in business or computers, Shai Reshef hopes to transform disadvantaged communities — and disrupt higher education as we know it.

Why you should listen

Shai Reshef wants to democratize higher education. At University of the People, he runs a tuition-free online school that offers tuition-free college-level studies to students across the globe, offering bachelor's and associate's degrees in two specialized areas where the jobs are: computer science and business administration. The university, which is partnered with New York University and accredited by DEAC , has admitted several thousand students from more than 160 countries. 

In 2010, the Huffington Post named Reshef the "Ultimate Game Changer in education," and WIRED included him in its list of the 50 people who will change the world. Also, Foreign Policy named him a Top Global Thinker. In 2015 the Financial Times reported that the school is now developing a Health Sciences and MBA program.

Before founding University of the People, Reshef directed KIT learning, the first online university in Europe.

What others say

“His audacious goal is nothing less than to change how the world learns.” — Foreign Policy, November 26, 2012

Shai Reshef’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Shai Reshef

In Brief

An ultra-low-cost online MBA launches today … and more news from TED speakers

March 15, 2016

  Shai Reshef’s nonprofit University of the People — which offers nearly tuition-free, accredited degrees online — today launches its first graduate degree, an MBA program in 12 courses. Although there are no tuition or textbook fees, there is a $200 testing fee per course, which means students can expect to pay $2,400 for their MBA (compare this to the average cost […]

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Live from TED

Onward: Speakers in Session 12 at TED2014

March 21, 2014

As we celebrate the last three decades of ideas at TED, we’re looking ahead and asking ourselves: what’s next? Each of the speakers in this session looks boldly toward the future, from a media visionary to an entrepreneur reimagining education to two powerful talks on overcoming a difficult past. Here are the speakers who appeared […]

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