Shai Reshef wants to democratize higher education.

Why you should listen

Reshef is the president of University of the People, an online school that offers tuition-free academic degrees in computer science, business administration and health studies (and MBA) to students across the globe. The university is partnered with Yale Law School for research and NYU and University of California Berkeley to accept top students. It's accredited in the U.S. and has admitted thousands of students from more than 180 countries. Wired magazine has included Reshef in its list of "50 People Changing the World" while Foreign Policy named him a "Top Global Thinker." Now Reshef wants to contribute to addressing the refugee crisis. "Education is a major factor in solving this global challenge," he says. UoPeople is taking at least 500 Syrian refugees as students with full scholarship. Before founding UoPeople, Reshef chaired KIT eLearning, 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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