Before you decide to go study at University of the People, the supposed first online university, be sure to read this to the end.
Not everyone has the time and resources to attend a regular university. There are lots of professionals today who would like to further their education but cannot leave their jobs to do that. There are also those who due to family commitments cannot leave their home for school.
Time and resource limitation is not the only incentive behind the popularity of online universities. A lot of advantages come with studying online. For example, you can choose from a wide range of programs that may not be available in universities around you or even within the country. You will be able to learn at your own pace in most cases – that is, freeing yourself of the biggest drawbacks of a traditional university where you are required to progress alongside the class regardless of how slow or fast.
While it will be great to enjoy all the benefits of attaining a degree online, this can also lead to regrets later. There are online degrees that are world-class. Most of such degrees are offered by established traditional universities around the world. Degrees that are not awarded by regular universities will have no recognition in most countries. Companies look upon such programs as diploma or degree mills, and this makes it difficult to find employment. You will be competing against thousands of job seekers who have graduated from regular well known universities against whom your chances will be quite slim.
In this article we will discuss one of the most popular online universities today known as UoPeople aka University of the People. We will look at ten things this university and its critics and students say about UoPeople. The article concludes with our verdict on the worthiness of UoPeople.
Table of Contents
It is a virtual university started in 2009 by an Israeli entrepreneur known as Shai Reshef. Its stated mission is to provide tuition-free education for people around the world. Their stated target seems to be the underprivileged or overcommitted. They are accredited by Distance Education Accrediting Commission in the USA. According to them, there are over 20 thousand students enrolled.
We will emphasize ten points every applicant needs to know about University of the People in order to make a sound decision. You will find this article helpful as it will possibly prevent you from making costly mistakes you may regret for years to come. These points will be discussed under two subheadings: What the university says about itself, and what critics and students say. Finally, we will offer our concluding thought about the worthiness of UoPeople.
Let us outline some things this university says about itself without scrutinizing any of the claims.
According to them, UoPeople is accredited by some of the most renowned accreditation bodies like the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), and BPPE, and partnered with some top universities of the World. Partner universities include: Berkley University of California, University of Edinburgh, and NYU. They claim to also partner with companies like Microsoft, HP, Saylor.org, and Intel. They offer degrees in Business Administration, Computer Science, Health Science, and Education.
There is the chance of transferring your credit to another university, but this depends on the institution you are going to or coming from. Naturally, every institution will have their own policies regarding transfer of credits. Just as the UoPeople does not guarantee accepting students from a school, so also does it not guarantee students’ ability to transfer credits from UoPeople to other schools, probably online universities.
There have been many negative reactions towards most claims made by the UoPeople. Some from critics and others from students of this virtual institution. Some of these criticisms are based on facts. We will examine the most common ones. A link will be provided towards the end that will give you more information about these claims made by UoPeople.
A student must spend about $4000 for undergraduate degree and $2400 for graduate degree. Take note also that there is a signup fee of $60. It means if you cannot pay $60, you will not be allowed to join, likewise if you are unable to pay a test-fee. If one reads the content on the homepage of this university, you get the impression that it will be $0 to take the course. It would have been more transparent if they declared right away that you should expect to spend up to $4060 before graduating with a B.Sc. if you are a prospective student and cannot afford to spend this amount for a degree, steer clear of UoPeople.
Another big issue with UoPeople is that the only means of communication between a student and the department is via email and most of the time, staffs do not check their mail early enough to provide any meaningful help to a student.
University of the People is far more deceptive than it seems. They create an urgent impression to cost you nothing or very little. They do not disclose just how much a degree will cost you. Their messages show too much desperation for an institution that is driven by solely non-profit motives. For example, you find up to three “APPLY” buttons on their website and every sentence you read tends to urge you to sign up. Their many press releases appear to be aggressively advertising the institution. Costs associated with each program are rather shrouded in secrecy.
If you want a degree certificate that will be useful to you, kindly keep away from this institution. If you are not willing to spend $4000 or $2400 plus $60, never sign up to any of their programs. If you want the knowledge more than the certificate, there are many free alternatives that provide better quality. Many students say UoPeople uses materials from other real universities provided freely to the public.
You can sign up with Khan Academy to get a degree-level knowledge in many courses. All for free, especially science and computer-related courses. I used this website to understand a lot of Mathematical and Computer science concepts I could not understand in School. There are many other free alternatives with certification. Rather than spend $4060 for a highly controversial degree, particularly if you are from Africa, just attend a real college or institution near you. If time does not permit this, you can join the National Open University of your country or sign up for a free program online. While you may be enticed by UoPeople’s offer of a degree, do not forget that institutions like these are considered by most employers as Degree Mills. You will also be competing against students from a real degree-awarding institution, and there are thousands of such students whose qualification will command more respect than anything UoPeople can give you. Click this link to read further about the UoPeople
This post was last modified on September 1, 2020 12:54 pm