Zayed University strikes deal with Minerva to transform degree-based learning

Students will be given a new experience based around debates and problem solving to prepare them for global job market

Minerva was already hosting virtual classes and group sessions long before the pandemic hit. Courtesy: Minerva Project
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Zayed University has signed a deal with a groundbreaking American innovator to transform the way its students learn.

The agreement with Minerva Project is aimed at ensuring students have cross-disciplinary skills that are relevant in a fast-changing global job market.

Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth and President of Zayed University, said the partnership will "build a new way of learning" for students.

"Zayed University X Minerva has been launched to create the next generation of problem solvers, equipping them with relevant and applicable skills to attain lasting success and overcome future challenges," Ms Al Kaabi said.

This programme will ensure that the outstanding students who graduate from will be equipped with enduring, future-proof skills regardless of the career paths they choose

Zayed University will offer four-year bachelor’s degrees in three new disciplines – business transformation, computational systems and social innovation – starting in September.

The other programmes will continue undisturbed.

In its first year, the new programmes will accept up to 250 students. They will prepare the students for the job market.

The business transformation programme will focus on market dynamics, business innovation and financial planning, ​but also teach students how to take an idea from concept to marketplace.

The social innovation course will merge aspects of psychology and political science with economics and arts.

Classes will be conducted on Minerva’s virtual learning platform, Forum, and in-person lessons will be held on Zayed University’s campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

"This interdisciplinary programme will ensure that the outstanding students who graduate will be equipped with enduring, future-proof skills regardless of the career paths they choose," said Ben Nelson, founder and chief executive of Minerva Project.

“These skills are not learnt by listening to lectures, but through active learning, experiential activities and professional immersion."

Faculty members will be trained in the Minerva teaching methodology, which makes extensive use of polls, debates and collaborative work.

Through these programmes, students will be taught skills in leadership, global citizenship and community engagement.

Students will also spend time working in groups.

How to apply for class of 2021

Applications must be submitted by July 5 with test scores for the Emirates Standardised Test, International English Language Testing System, and high school transcripts.

Students must write an essay and send a self-recorded interview answering some questions.

The second cycle of applications will be open from July 6 to August 10.

HE Noura Al Kaabi, President, Zayed University, Ben Nelson, CEO, Minerva. Photo: Zayed University
Zayed University President Noura Al Kaabi with Ben Nelson, founder of Minerva. Courtesy: Zayed University