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Alternative Higher Education

Alternative Higher Education

On Thursday 1 February the Lower Sixth students met with Lucian Cosinschi from the Minerva project, a new university programme that has re-imagined the educational experience to be relevant to today's changing world.  Students choose a degree course to study for four years and spend time in seven international locations. Mr Cosinschi explained to the students that lectures and small seminars are completed online; homework is submitted, marked and returned to students online; and the philosophy and pedagogy of the programme is highly successful - the courses can be compared in league tables with top European and American universities.

The programme prepares students for success through:

• Global immersion: Minerva students experience the world first hand during their four years of study. Following their first year in San Francisco, students spend each subsequent semester living in residence halls in different cities around the world: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Hyderabad, London and Taipei. Each location offers a new opportunity to use the city as a campus, through fully immersive experiences, location-based assignments and internships.

• Innovative curriculum: Minerva provides a rigorous liberal arts and science curriculum emphasising active learning that teaches students how to think, not what to think. Designed by renowned research psychologist and former Harvard Dean, Dr Stephen Kosslyn, the pedagogy focuses on empowering students with the skills and core competencies needed to solve complex global problems. There are no lectures: all classes are small seminars of 15-19 students, conducted on the Active Learning Forum to facilitate meaningful engagement and interaction.

• Accessible and diverse: Unlike other top-tier universities, Minerva has no cap on the number of international students, and admissions are 100 percent merit-based. Minerva offers generous financial aid to all students with demonstrated need and, as a result, the student body is reflective of the world itself, with 78 percent of students coming from outside the U.S., representing over 60 countries.