Distance Learning

UC Berkeley Opens Doors to Transfer Students from Free, Online University

UC Berkeley Opens Doors to Transfer Students from Free, Online University

University of the People (UoPeople) has partnered with the University of California, Berkeley to allow top-performing graduates of UoPeople's associate's degree programs to transfer to Berkeley to complete their Bachelor's degree.

UoPeople is a non-profit, tuition-free, accredited American online university. It was established in 2009 with the goal of opening access to higher education globally. The university offers associate's and bachelor's degrees in business administration and computer science, as well as a master's degree in business administration.

UC Berkeley partnered with UoPeople because "UoPeople’s mission is closely aligned with the mission of Berkeley, to open the gates to a quality higher education to every deserving student," said Nicholas Dirks, Chancellor of UC Berkeley, in a news release. Only qualified, top-performing graduates of UoPeople's associate's degree programs will be eligible to transfer to UC Berkeley, with priority given to residents of California.

According to Shai Reshef, president of UoPeople, the partnership between the two universities "is the ultimate endorsement of the value of our degrees and it offers a great opportunity for our students."

UoPeople minimizes its costs through the use of open-source technology, open educational resources (OER), peer-to-peer learning and assistance from academic volunteers. UoPeople aims "to provide universal access to university studies for qualified high school graduates, despite financial, geographic, societal or personal constraints," according to a news release from the university.

In 2011, UoPeople partnered with New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi to allow high performing students who have completed at least one year of studies at UoPeople, and who meet the standards of admission, to be eligible to apply for admission to NYU Abu Dhabi. UoPeople has also partnered with Yale Law School's Information Society Project (ISP) for research; Microsoft for scholarships and access to certificate programs mentoring, internships and employment opportunities; and Hewlett-Packard for general support, scholarships for women and internships.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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