The People’s University (UoPeople) has announced plans to increase its reach among South African students seeking affordable, accessible and quality higher education opportunities. The number of university enrollments in South Africa has increased from 13 students in 2015 to nearly 1,600 students today.
Founded on the belief that higher education is a human right, UoPeople is the first non-profit, tuition-free, online university accredited by the United States. The University is dedicated to providing access to higher education worldwide to help qualified high school graduates overcome the financial, geographic, political and personal constraints that prevent them from studying at the university. The total number of students enrolled at UoPeople has increased 107% in the past year to 75,392 students and is on track to surpass 100,000 students from over 200 countries by this fall, making UoPeople the fastest growing online university in the world.
In South Africa, an estimated 1.4 million people have completed high school but were unable to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program due to limited places or financial constraints.
Stimulated by the impacts of Covid-19, international markets have already seen massive changes, with many universities developing online programs that some are calling the post-pandemic future of education.
In South Africa, the pandemic had roughly the same impact, with the majority of universities switching to an online platform. However, this move has still not provided enough educational opportunities or addressed the dire needs of South Africa’s missing average student population.
UoPeople’s flexibility and affordability are ideal for missing middle students, which includes those who cannot afford to go to college themselves but are over the income threshold to qualify for funding. government. These students are generally considered to belong to the middle class with a family income of between 120,000 and 600,000 rand per year. While traditional on-campus bachelor’s degrees can cost around 150,000 Rand, a bachelor’s degree from UoPeople will cost around 69,000 Rand, reducing the total cost by over 50%.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, sits on the President’s Council of the University of the People, along with the presidents and vice-chancellors of the best universities in the world. “I am very proud of the quality of UoPeople and its accomplishments to date. The university is building an excellent model that can solve Africa’s higher education crisis, the lack of places and, in many cases, the lack of quality, ”Phakeng said. UCT recently launched South Africa’s first online secondary school for grades 8-12 students.
Founded in 2009, UoPeople offers four highly demanded academic programs: Business Administration, Computer Science, Health Sciences, and Education. These programs were specifically chosen for their relevance to the real world and students can study from anywhere, on any device, even a mobile phone.
“UoPeople is the university that makes higher education accessible to local students, removing barriers to their success and empowering them to succeed,” said university president Shai Reshef. “We are happy for the students who have been successful in securing places at local universities; However, UoPeople was created to accommodate all qualified students, not just a few.