Modern Social Problems

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The right to free basic education is a fundamental human right, according to different international conventions. The matter includes compulsory primary and compulsory secondary schooling and requirement to accessible higher education, according to the European Convention on Human Rights and the international Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Willmore, 2004). Higher education institutions have become entrepreneurs who have to pay students enormously for their courses and thus exclude their socially deprived students from studying at the University. Nonetheless, the open learning resources and online education platforms such as the University of the People offer tuition-free internet classes. UoPeople is a non-profit organization founded by Shai Reshef in 2009. It was granted accreditation in 2014 from DETC of the US (Parr, 2017). In 2013 the university held its first graduation with pioneers from America, Europe, Syria, and Nigeria. The primary purpose of this educational formation was to make university study accessible to all, especially those with financial constraints (Verger, Novelli, & Mundy, 2012). The University of the People is an effective method of availing advanced education to the economically disadvantaged. It accepts qualified students from across the world who lack means of attending post-secondary levels in more traditional ways (Sherington, 2014). It is a new model that is capable of enhancing collective intelligence of motivated individuals who would otherwise have missed college education simply because they cannot afford it (Reshef, 2017).

UoPeople is a preferable alternative for the less affluent people due to the below stated reasons. The traditional model of higher education is deemed to be inclined towards those who are financially stable and can pay the enormous tuition fees. As a result, millions of potential students who want to study but lack access are locked out, making higher education a privilege that is enjoyed by a few rather than a universal right.

Cultural believes in some parts of the world pose a hindrance regarding further schooling, especially to women in Africa and Middle East Asia who are prevented from accessing higher education (Reshef, 2017).

In addition, a study carried out by UNESCO shows that there will be not enough seats to accommodate the significant number of students joining universities by 2025, despite meeting the required standards. Therefore, the chances of admission into the colleges will be slim (Education for the 21st Century, 2017).

Various frameworks support the effectiveness of UoPeople. When it comes to availability, individuals can learn using any internet connection. There are no classrooms that may force some students to stand due to lack of seats. Furthermore, studying materials are freely made available by lecturers from prestigious universities who have volunteered to be part of the program. Accessibility is another context where students are given an equal chance regardless of gender, race or part of the world they come from. The various scholarships offered further makes it possible for learners to gain access to education. Acceptability being the third framework is evident as students work in groups made up of people from all around the world (Reshef, 2017). They have a chance to give contributions and comments related to their courses and regularly associate with group members. Students can easily adapt due to the flexible schedules offered by the university.

If governments of developing countries espouse and support the module of the University of the People, the capacity of students with higher education will increase, and this will change the norm of it being a privilege for a few into being accessible.

References

Education for the 21st Century. (2017). UNESCO. Retrieved from https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-21st-century.

Parr, C. (2017, March 2). University of the People gains accreditation. Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved from https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/university-of-the-people-gains-accreditation/2011702.article.

Reshef, S. (2017). An ultra-low-cost college degree [Video file]. Ted.com. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/shai_reshef_a_tuition_free_college_degree/up-next#t-636426h.

Sherington, G. (2014) “A University of the People: A history of the University of Western Sydney.” History of Education Review, 43(2), 266-268.

Verger, A., Novelli, M., & Mundy, K. (2012). Campaigning for Education for All. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Willmore, L. (2004). Basic education as a human right. Economic Affairs, 24(4), 17-21.

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