Zayed University has joined forces with Minerva Project, the pathbreaking US-based educational innovator, to launch the first  interdisciplinary programme of study in the Middle East. The partnership, Zayed University X Minerva, was formally signed in Dubai on 8 June 2021 in the presence of Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, President of Zayed University, and Ben Nelson, the Founder and CEO of Minerva Project.

The meeting and signing ceremony was also attended by  and the following members of the University Council at Zayed University,  HE Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, Vice-Chair of the University Council, His Excellency Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC), Moza Al Akraf Al Suwaidi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Community Development, Shatha AlHashmi, Advisor, the Executive Advisory Unit, Prime Minister Office; Mariam Saeed Ghobash, University Council member; Saeed Sultan Rashed Al Dhaheri, Businessman; Emeritus Professor Rob Whelan, Director - Whelan Consulting Pty Ltd., Dr. Khalid M. AlKhazraji, Vice-President of Zayed University, and Professor Clayton Mackenzie, Provost of Zayed University.

The programme’s objective is to teach enduring skills based on an interdisciplinary and cross-contextual curriculum. Students will be able to choose from three interdisciplinary programmes — Business Transformation, Computational Systems, and Social Innovation — aimed at addressing global economic, technological and societal challenges. 

All classes will be taught using Minerva’s proprietary Fully Active Learning pedagogy, based on decades of research in the science of learning.  All dedicated faculty will be trained in the Minerva teaching methodology which is based on radically flipped classrooms, where students engage in deep processing through extensive use of polls, debates, and collaborative work. 

Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth and President of Zayed University, said: “Zayed University strives to play a leading role in enabling growth, harnessing the power of education to uplift communities and society as a whole. To this end, we have partnered with Minerva to build a new way of learning. As the needs of the knowledge-based society evolve, we recognise that new challenges demand new approaches to problem-solving. 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.”

“We are delighted to have Zayed University as our pioneer partner in the Middle East. As Zayed University and the UAE look to the future, this interdisciplinary programme will ensure that the outstanding students who graduate from the programme will be equipped with enduring, future-proof skills regardless of the career paths they choose,” said Ben Nelson, Founder and CEO of Minerva Project. “These skills are not learned by listening to lectures, but through active learning, experiential activities and professional immersion. We have heard repeatedly from employers that Minerva graduates stand out due to their critical, creative and collaborative skills — skills that are lacking in other university graduates.”

Students will also acquire and hone vital leadership and global citizenship skills by engaging with the local community and a range of civil society initiatives. In addition, all enrolled students will spend a portion of their time working in groups and engaging regional and global employers. In doing so, they will apply the knowledge gained in the classroom in a professional context; bridging the gap between learning and working.

Zayed University X Minerva will blend the best of advanced technology and in-person amenities. Classes will be conducted on Minerva’s proprietary learning environment, Forum™️ — the most sophisticated virtual learning platform available — while interactions with its multicultural student body, will be facilitated on both of Zayed University’s  state-of-the-art campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This hybrid approach offers students the flexibility to attend class from anywhere in the world.

The programme, which offers a four-year Bachelor’s degree in the three above-mentioned disciplines,  starts in September 2021.

To apply to Zayed University X Minerva, please register and submit an application through the Zayed University X Minerva Admissions Portal:

To learn more about the new, innovative programme, please visit the Zayed University X Minerva website: