Fondation Pierre Fabre

The world's first free university

Main beneficiary countries:
United States - India - Canada - Cameroon - Kenya - Congo - Kinshasa - Sudan - Guadeloupe - Martinique - Trinidad & Tobago

About the sponsor

Founded in 2001, globally launched its first full course in March 2012, with a dozen free, tested, and accredited health sciences courses currently offered. will enroll its first residents (in Texas) in July 2019; is developing these Preventive Medicine residencies with the American College of Preventive Medicine, CDC, European Lifestyle Medicine Organization, Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard, Stanford Medicine, WHO, and others to create the first globally-available Graduate Medical Education. has tested and published on this free model in North American medical, public health, and undergraduate students, and in community health workers and primary care physicians in Kenya and in India, with as much knowledge gain and greater student satisfaction than with traditional courses, and the creation of a global community of practice.

Sector: Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Country of origin: Canada

The organisation has:

Full-Time Equivalents
Service providers

Initiative overview

Healthcare themes targeted

  • Mother and child health
  • Primary healthcare
  • Nutrition
  • Malaria/paludism
  • Infectious diseases
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Access to quality medicines/pharmacies
  • Vaccination
  • Chronic diseases
  • Cardiovascular illnesses
  • Cancer
  • Oral health
  • Dermatology
  • Mental health
  • Ophthalmology
  • Emergency services

Stage of development:

  • Routine project/operational

Area where initiative is utilised

  • International (in several countries)

Initiative start date

  • 07/01/2001


Financing method

  • Public (grant/subsidies, call for proposals/call for tender, etc.)
  • Private (private investors, crowdfunding, philanthropy, etc.)
  • NGO
  • Government agency (i.e AFD, USAID, etc.)
  • Intergovernmental or international agency

Economic model(s)

  • Income generated by beneficiaries
  • Revenue generated by the beneficiaries/healthcare facilities
  • Subsidies
  • Donations
  • Philanthropic endowment ($16 million), grants, contracts, and donations of time and money

About the initiative addresses the pandemic shortage of health workers, with a global deficit of 12.9 million predicted by 2035.

These online, for-free and for-credit Masters of Public Health (MPH) and Medical Degree (MD) are providing high-quality courses and accredited full degrees for post-secondary students’ and institutions’ use.

Starting with a focus in the health sciences,’s accredited courses are being used by over 6,500 registered users in 191 (of 193) UN Member States/Countries, and expect to achieve its ultimate outcome this Spring 2019: the first globally free degree, a Master's in Public Health (now approved in Texas by, and awaiting final US-based accreditation in June 2019).

Courses span from college-level pre-health sciences and community health worker trainings, through public health graduate training, and a MedSchoolInABox (co-developed with Stanford, U of Toronto, and U Central Florida) that includes Graduate Medical Education. This educational system is not a set of Massive Open Online Courses - courses are competency-based, and include online knowledge transfer, a web-based global peer community of practice, skills-based mentorships, and a free certificate.’s accredited partners, North American universities that are outstanding in each particular course topic, give learners credit for this training (or institutions can adopt them and use them with their students).

Fields of application:

Health professional training - Telemedicine (remote diagnosis and consultations) - Information, education and communication for behaviour change (IEC)

Target audience

  • Healthcare professionals and structures (hospitals, healthcare centres/clinics, health networks)
  • Patient family/entourage
  • Community health workers (non-professional-level)

Initiative objectives

  • Decreased mortality
  • Decreased morbidity
  • Reduced suffering
  • Improved treatment
  • Prevention of disease (Preventive Medicine being Dr. Frank's medical specialty)

Key figures

7454 Number of beneficiaries since launch

2000 Number of users per Year

Materials used

  • Cellular (mobile) phone
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Computer
  • Connected objects

Technologies used

  • Mobile telecommunications (without data connection)
  • Internet
  • Mobile app (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, HTML5, etc.)

Offline use


Open Source


Open Data


Independent evaluation

auto-evaluated or evaluated by a related organization


American College of Preventive Medicine

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Organization of Eastern Caribbean States

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

European Lifestyle Medicine Organization

Health: Healthcare professionals and structures

Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard

Academic entities: Universities, research laboratories, etc.