Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2009
University of the People
This description of Shai Reshef's work was prepared when Shai Reshef was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
Shai Reshef is the founder and president of the University of the People, the world's first tuition-free global online academic institution dedicated to the democratization of higher education. The institution was specifically created to serve poor, remote and disadvantaged populations. Shai introduced many innovations in setting up the project—including the use of Internet technology, peer-to-peer teaching methods, and a diverse network of students and volunteer faculty—to transform higher education from the privilege of “an elite” to a right of the disadvantaged in all parts of the world.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person


The BBC reports that 15 people in the war torn city of Aleppo, Syria have become online students at the University of the People.

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