Educating the Many, Not the Few: A Digital Model for Change
Shai Reshef, University of the People
Tuesday, April 13, 12:30 pm
Berkman Center, 23 Everett Street, second floor
Named one of the most creative people in business by Fast Company magazine, entrepreneur Shai Reshef is tackling the education system that has failed millions. The lack of universal access to higher education impacts not only the lives of individuals—their income, health and quality of life—but the societies in which they live—crime rates, social awareness and economic stability. In response to the global need for democratized education, Reshef founded University of the People (UoPeople), the world’s first tuition-free online university, providing quality, accessible higher education to those who have the desire to learn but lack the resources. Harnessing the free exchange of information online and multiple pedagogical models, including eLearning and peer-to-peer learning, UoPeople demonstrates that, if governments invested just a fraction of their collective education budgets, the whole world could go to university.
Reshef’s session will address barriers and bridges to education, the impact of the Internet on learning platforms, UoPeople and the challenges he faces implementing this model. How are students of different cultures able to teach each other? How can a free university be effective? What is the impact of the freedom of information over the internet? What does UoPeople and similar education models mean for traditional brick & mortar universities? For more information on UoPeople, visit www.uopeople.org.
Shai Reshef is the Founder & President of the University of the People (UoPeople), the world’s first tuition free online university. An expert on the intersection of education and technology, Reshef currently serves as a high-level adviser to the United Nations’ Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development. Reshef founded UoPeople following twenty years of experience in the international education sector. From 1989 to 2005, he served as Chairman of the Kidum Group—the largest for-profit educational services company based in Israel—and, between 2001 and 2004, he also chaired the University of Liverpool’s KIT eLearning, the first online university outside of the United States. Reshef holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Tel Aviv University and an M.A. in Chinese Politics from the University of Michigan.