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Minerva university founder Ben Nelson visits RANEPA

11 October2019
Minerva university founder Ben Nelson visits RANEPA

On September 30, Ben Nelson, an American entrepreneur and founder of Minerva project, delivered a lecture for students and graduates of RANEPA Institute of Business Studies (IBS) about how technology is changing education.

The speaker began by saying that the future had long come. Ben Nelson asked the audience to name some components of the future that already exist. Globalization, automation, sharing economy, development of remote work practices – all these trends are part of the future, but have emerged since the end of the 1980s.

The world has changed a lot, but the education system continues to resist change, Mr. Nelson said. He noted that the main problem of the educational system is that it does not teach wisdom, that is, the ability to apply your knowledge in a new context. There are many reasons for that. In particular, the classical lecture format is ineffective: after six months, students can remember only 10% of the information. In addition, classical universities do not teach students critical thinking – something they will in life outside the walls of the institution, the expert concluded.

The Minerva project is an alternative to a classical university format and combines the latest technology with flexible approaches. Among the advantages of the project is corruption-free admission process. Ben Nelson noted that 43% of white Harvard students are either athletes, or children of Harvard graduates, or come from families that support the university financially. The Minerva project seeks to completely eliminate bias from the admission process. The educational system at Minerva schools teaches critical thinking, and classes are held in the format of interactive seminars, which contributes to better assimilation of information.

After the expert’s presentation, RANEPA Vice-Rector, Director of IBS Moscow Sergei Myasoyedov said Ben Nelson was awarded the honorary doctorate of RANEPA IBS. He became the third to receive this honorary title, after prominent management theorist Ichak Adizes and specialist in psychology of leadership Manfred Kets de Vries.

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