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Online ‘ivy' university to test global education market

Traditionally, for-profit colleges have operated on the lowest rungs of America's educational ladder, catering to poor and lower middle-class students looking for a basic, convenient degree or technical training. Aspiring Ivy Leaguers have remained far out of the industry's sights. That is, until now, writes Jordan Weissmann for The Atlantic.

Last week the Minerva Project, a start-up online university, announced that it had received $25 million in seed financing from Benchmark Capital, a major Silicon Valley venture capital firm known for its early investments in eBay, among other successful web companies.

Minerva bills itself as "the first elite American university to be launched in a century" and promises to re-envision higher education for the information age.

The chair of its advisory board is Larry Summers, the former treasury secretary and Harvard president. He's joined on the board by, among others, Bob Kerrey, former US senator and president of The New School.

But what makes Minerva interesting is what it might show us about the state of the global education market, and how the US might be able to turn its reputation for pedagogical excellence into a high-tech export industry.
Full report on The Atlantic site
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