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Tuition-Free, Online Education? Try ­niversity of the People


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Credit: iStockPhoto.com

It is a grand vision: a global college with no tuition, accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

When higher education entrepreneur Shai Reshef laid out his ambitious plan to build a free university that would use modern technology to spread the promise of a college degree to all corners of the earth, he got an enthusiastic reaction from some high-profile institutions. The United Nations has backed the venture. So has Yale Law School's Information Society Project.

But the project drew skepticism as well. A year has now passed since the University of the People opened its virtual doors to the world. And while it appears to be a functioning institution where education is indeed taking place, questions about the project's long-term viability—and its ability to replicate the essential functions of an actual university—are yet to be answered.

From USA Today
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