The University of the people, an online university is granting 500 Syrian refugees the opportunity to have a university degree for free!
The University of the people which is based in California, United States is a non-profit with the aim of taking free education to the less privileged and those without access to universities in their locales.
The University of the people offers certified 4-year degrees to students who are taught via the internet.
Syrian refugees are a prime target seeing as the Syrian civil war which has dragged on for too long has sent many out of schools, with even more being unable to pursue a higher education degree.
“There isn’t a better reason for the invention of the internet,” the BBC reports the university’s founder and president, Shai Reshef as saying.
“We open the gates to higher education. We are an alternative for those who have no other alternative – survivors of the genocide in Rwanda, refugees from Syria, the earthquake in Haiti.”
“Nobody deserves education as much as refugees. These are people who have lost everything. Many will never go back to their countries, and their children and grandchildren become refugees too.
“The only way out of the cycle is by education, the only way for them to integrate in their new countries is through education,” says Mr. Reshef.
The courses which are usually free, normally cost $100 for an exam. A full degree which consists of 40 units costs $4000 dollars in total. The refugees will, however, get it totally free.
The University of the People has big donors such as the Gates foundation, Google, Hewlett-Packard, as well as volunteer professors who make the online courses a successful reality.
UoP also plans on making the courses more inclusive for refugees. The plan is to see if the students can do online courses in the first two years, while the remaining two will be completed at a local university.
Other projects to make the online university experience better includes getting rid of the language barrier by making it easy to study in Arabic.