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University Of The People - Where Students Get Free Degrees

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27117597

Ali Patrik Eid is a happy man right now. A few weeks ago he graduated from a university that he didn't pay a penny for. He didn't even have to show up for lectures.

And when his wife gave birth to twins shortly after he started his course in business management, it was no problem for him to take six months off to help take care of them.

He was attending the University of the People (UoPeople), one of a growing number of online universities which are opening new doors to people, particularly in the developing world.

"I have always dreamt about having a degree but I didn't think I ever would," the 34-year-old Jordanian told the BBC.

Online learning courses are not new - the University of Phoenix, for example, has been offering 100% online learning since 1987 - but the UoPeople is the first tuition-free online college that grants degrees.

Students are asked to pay a $100 (£58) fee for every exam they take but if they can't afford it, they can take advantage of a range of available scholarships.

Mr Eid did not pay for any of his 35 exams and assumes that "they were funded".

..

The university has also recently signed an agreement with the Nigerian government to provide scholarships for potential students.

Last month the university was granted official accreditation from the US Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is likely to raise its status significantly.

It was launched in 2009 by Israeli entrepreneur Shai Reshef, who believes that access to higher education is a basic right that should be available to all.

..

It currently offers only two degrees - the business administration course that Mr Eid opted for and another in computer science.

After the $10k degree earlier in the week, there seems to be a trend for low cost education.

The $10,000 Bachelor's Degree Arrives

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Good luck trying to get your foot in the door of anywhere worth working with one of these degrees. The whole system is held captive at present and certainly not for the benefit of the people.

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Good luck trying to get your foot in the door of anywhere worth working with one of these degrees. The whole system is held captive at present and certainly not for the benefit of the people.

That is true to some degree - working in most FTSE 100 companies requires you to go to a red brick university for no other reason than the leaders of these companies came from such universities and still believe that their alma mater provides the best talent. Information can be learnt anywhere and communication has become almost free but the people over 40 still think the world of learning is the same as their school days. TBH most large companies don't want self starters - they want stable middle classers who can just chug away with no real thoughts of their own.

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There is something in this.

Why should excellence in education be confined between privileged walls anymore than films are confined by cinema.

Especially at a time when the route to middle-class bliss has been effectively choked off with debt.

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But what about the rite of passage, not to mention boomer BTL landlords in University towns, all those middle class admin jobs etc. etc.

School leavers nothing to see here, suck up the debt and live the Blairite dream of education.

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But what about the rite of passage, not to mention boomer BTL landlords in University towns, all those middle class admin jobs etc. etc.

School leavers nothing to see here, suck up the debt and live the Blairite dream of education.

I guess whats also interesting is that to a certain extent, the social sphere is also no longer choked off by location.

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