By Derek Newton
As a follow up to my continuing story on University of the People (UoPeople), I received comment and clarification from the University of California, Berkeley, with which UoPeople proudly cites a “partnership.”
The initial article found that, as just two examples, UoPeople has sent millions of dollars to an off-shore, for-profit company entirely owned by the university and that it’s not fully accredited the way most American schools are. After reviewing the article, Janet Gilmore, Senior Director of Strategic Communications at Berkeley, said, “UC Berkeley does have a partnership with University of the People. It is current.” But, in light of the new information, she continued, “we are now re-evaluating the partnership.”
Gilmore also clarified the nature of the partnership which, quite clearly, does not guarantee admission or apparently even any favorable status. According to Gilmore, “Under the agreement, we agree that our Office of Undergraduate Admission will review the application of the occasional student that University of the People believes could be a competitive applicant here.” Just a review of the application which, it’s probably safe to assume, Berkeley does for every applicant.
Moreover, Gilmore said, “Since the partnership was established in January 2016, University of the People officials referred 3 students to our Office of Undergraduate Admission. One applicant was offered admission in a prior year and two students are currently under review in this cycle.”
In other words, in the history of the three-year-old “partnership,” exactly one student has transferred from UoPeople to Berkeley.