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Israeli Entrepreneur Plans to Open Nonprofit Campusless University

Every campus has a price and, online classes or not, every college has a campus... right? Shai Reshef, Israeli internet entrepreneur, wants to challenge everything we know about universities with plans to create a global-scale, tuition-free, nonprofit university called the University of the People. No tuition? No campus? No problem.

"The idea is to take social networking and apply it to academia," said Shai Reshef, an entrepreneur and founder of several previous Internet-based educational businesses. "The open source courseware is there, from universities that have put their courses online, available to the public, free. We know that online peer-to-peer teaching works. Putting it all together, we can make a free university for students all over the world, anyone who speaks English and has an Internet connection."

Such a business model not only challenges modern perceptions of college, but raises many important questions as well -- will such a college be held to the same standards of academic excellence as others? With a skeleton crew of professors and volunteers, how will these standards be enforced to make accreditation? And if it does rank up to snuff on accreditation, how drastically must we rethink how we recognize the legitimacy of accredited online universities? It's a lot to think about, and it just might change the face of online education.

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