Maura Herson, Director of the MBA Program at MIT Sloan
From Business Vision
MIT has a worldwide reputation, and international students make up 34-40 percent of the Sloan School of Management’s MBA Programme.
MIT Sloan, based in Boston, values diversity and strives to provide a supportive environment for its global citizens. Its mission is to develop principled and innovative leaders who will improve the world, and enrich the learning experience of all students.
The MBA Programme conducts around 50 “Sloan on the Road” events each year to share admissions information and encourage qualified applicants, and its efforts – combined with MIT’s reputation – continue to pay off.
The US remains a popular destination for international graduate students. In the MBA Class of 2019, 48 percent of international students will be from Asia or the Middle East, 22 percent from South or Central America, 16 percent from Europe, nine percent from Canada and Mexico, three percent from Oceania, and two percent from Africa.
MIT has applications from India, China, Korea, Japan, South-east Asia and Central and South America, all regions where it has active alumni promotion.
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” This quote from Plutarch is as true today as it was two thousand years ago. Still, the misconception of education as a vessel-filling activity remains. In this column, I outline an idea that could reshape our universities while also prototyping new ways of addressing urgent societal challenges. The kindling of the flame that Plutarch talked about has never been more relevant than now.
Let’s start with 2017
Last week my column focused on 2017:
The year 2017 mirrored the epochal year 1917 by putting a new challenge in front of us: the challenge of vertical development.
By “vertical development” I mean the capacity to deal with disruptive change, which requires us to let go of the past and to let come the future, to shift our awareness from one state to another. In the language of tech: vertical development is about suspending your habit of installing yet another app and instead upgrading your entire operating system.
From that perspective we can interpret the current global surge of terrorism, fundamentalism, xenophobia, Trumpism, and autocracy as expressions of the same underlying phenomenon: the missing capacity as a society to respond to challenges in generative ways, by evolving ourselves “vertically,” by upgrading the way we listen and attend, the way we converse and think, and the way we organize and coordinate in the context of larger systems.
The current crisis in higher education has three characteristics: it’s overpriced, out of touch (with society’s real needs), and outdated (in its method and purpose). But the solution, a true 21st-century model of higher education, is already emerging: it’s free(or accessible to everyone), it’s empowering (putting the learner into the driver’s seat of profound personal, professional, and societal renewal), and it’s transformational(providing new learning environments that activate the deepest human capacities to create — both individually and collectively).
Today I would like to share some preliminary insights from our ongoing experiment, “U.Lab: Transforming Business, Society, and Self” (Watch a 7-minute video about it here), a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) developed with MITx and delivered through edX.org.
A frequent criticism directed at MOOCs is that the learning that happens in them is not as effective as the learning that happens in a classroom. That’s why, in the U.Lab, we didn’t try to replace the classroom. Instead, we decentralized it, then took the learning out of the classroom altogether.