November 7, 2017


Pope Francis Recognizes UoPeople Transforming Lives to Build a Better World

Dear friends,

Since I founded University of the People eight years ago, I’ve been privileged to travel all over the world and meet countless incredible people. With that said, I was extremely fortunate and humbled to meet His Holiness Pope Francis on Saturday morning in the Vatican as part of the “Refugees and Migrants in a Globalized World: Responsibility and Responses of Universities” conference.

The Pope praised the “commitment to social responsibility, to building a more just and more human world”, by educating refugees and migrants. He spoke of the need of “offering distance learning for those who live in camps or reception centers and by making scholarships available”.

It was a true honor to have met Pope Francis and to share with him UoPeople’s work with refugees. To shake his hand and receive – on behalf of the university – his encouragement and blessing was indeed an incredibly special moment.

To date, UoPeople has enrolled over 1,000 refugees, among them over 600 Syrians, and will continue to enroll many more. This has been possible thanks to the generous support of Foundation Hoffmann, The Oak Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Steve & Roberta Denning, and others.

You are welcome to read and listen to the Vatican Radio interview I had here.

On behalf of the university, I am humbled by this recognition and I am thankful for all the continued support.

Shai Reshef
University of the People

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