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University of the People & IB Partner to Announce Tuition-free Master’s of Education Program

By Freddie Oomkens

To increase the amount of highly skilled teachers across the world, the University of the People (UoPeople) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) have launched a tuition-free, online Master’s of Education (M.Ed.) programme. The programme was developed to address the shortage of qualified educators around the world, especially in underrepresented areas, and to enable teachers and educational administrators to advance their knowledge and careers regardless of where they live or how much they can afford. Starting today, UoPeople will begin accepting applicants to commence their M.Ed. studies as early as January 2019. Applicants do not have to be associated with the IB or plan to be IB teachers. The M.Ed. programme can be completed in seven to eight terms (each term is nine weeks long) and as it is online, students can start in any given term, from anywhere in the world. There are no tuition or textbook fees, however there are minimal assessment fees. Increasing access to affordable education The new programme offers teachers and schools around the world a cost-effective opportunity to receive a Master’s of Education degree. “We are extremely excited to be collaborating with the IB to launch this programme, based on our compatible missions and values, which include a commitment to increase access to quality education”, said UoPeople President Shai Reshef. The demand for teachers with a master’s in education is high, according to President Reshef, and other degree holders who don’t have a bachelor’s in education also need the qualification if they wish to become teachers. Unfortunately, many teachers who are qualified to achieve the M.Ed. cannot afford it. The UoPeople and the IB hope to fix this problem. President Reshef continued: “Launching the world’s most cost-effective M.Ed. was a natural progression for UoPeople, and we couldn’t be prouder about collaborating with the IB to make it happen. We see this as a great milestone—both for teachers around the world and the university to mark its 10th anniversary..” The curriculum reflects the IB’s approaches to teaching and learning so the programme will also meet the needs of IB World Schools who are looking to recruit teachers familiar with IB pedagogy. The M.Ed. programme will produce a new generation of globally-minded educators with an in-depth knowledge of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment to support student-directed inquiry, interdisciplinary learning, intercultural competence, and critical thinking. George Rupp, Chair of the IB Board of Governors and UoPeople President’s Council Member, praised the programme: “Education that is academically rigorous, deliberately multi-cultural, and concerned with developing personal values that include a commitment to community service is an invaluable resource for any and all of us”. He continued, “That the IB Diploma is recognised internationally as a mark of academic distinction opens doors worldwide for UoPeople graduates. We look forward to providing this enormous benefit to increasing numbers of students around the world”. Accelerating teacher development “To continue to sustain the quality of teaching and learning demanded by IB programmes, there is a pressing need to ensure there are a sufficient number of high quality teachers”, said Dr Siva Kumari, Director General of the IB. “The IB is pleased to collaborate with University of the People toward a rigorous online postgraduate teacher education programme based on principles common to IB pedagogy to increase the supply of highly competent teachers across the world at a low cost, who would have the qualifications necessary to join the professional community of engaged IB teachers”, she said. The launch of the M.Ed. programme coincides with the IB’s 50th anniversary. The founding Dean of UoPeople’s M.Ed. programme is Professor James W. Fraser of New York University, previously the founding Dean of North Eastern University’s School of Education. The new UoPeople Educational Advisory Board includes esteemed volunteers and academics: Clause Steele (Stanford), Siva Kumari (IB), Arthur Levine (Columbia University), Roy Pea (Stanford), Hannele Niemi (University of Helsinki), Rebecca Hughes (IB), Conrad Hughes (International School of Geneva), Eduard Vallory (UNESCO), Gavin Dykes (Education World Forum) and David Thomas (Trevor Day School). The M.Ed. is accredited by the Distance Education and Accreditation Commission. ________________________ About University of the People University of the People (UoPeople) is the first non-profit, tuition-free, American accredited online university. Dedicated to opening access to higher education globally, UoPeople is designed to help qualified high school graduates overcome financial, geographic, political, and personal constraints keeping them from collegiate studies. With over 17,000 enrolled students from more than 200 countries and territories, the university’s student growth is doubling in number every year. Its ability to do so leans on its use of open-source technology, Open Educational Resources and the assistance of 7,000 volunteers. The university offers two-year associate’s and four-year bachelor’s degree programmes in business administration, computer science, and health science as well as an MBA and M.Ed. programme. Founded in 2009, UoPeople has partnered with Yale ISP Law School for research; New York University (NYU), University of California (UC) Berkeley, and The University of Edinburgh to accept students. UoPeople has been supported by The Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Fondation Hoffmann, and companies such as HP, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Western Union, Estee Lauder and many more. Learn more at

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