Online learning startup seeks to rival the Ivy League

By Stephanie Simon, Reuters

Former Silicon Valley CEO Ben Nelson has two years and $25 million to transform higher education. The 36-year-old executive, who has run the Snapfish photo-sharing website and the Redbeacon home-maintenance site, said this week that he had landed $25 million in seed money for an audacious new venture: creating an elite global university online. From scratch. “The only way we’re going to find out what works is to do it, rather than sit there opining,” said David Wiley, an associate professor of instructional psychology and technology at Brigham Young University. “Bring it on.” Nelson wants to attract top students from around the world to his Minerva Project, a for-profit undergraduate college that will offer rigorous courses designed by academic superstars. But Minerva will also require students to teach themselves everything from Spanish to macroeconomics.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/04/net-us-usa-college-online-idUSBRE8330U320120404

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