J-WEL Member Feature: Universidad Mayor | MIT J-WEL

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J-WEL Member Feature: Universidad Mayor


Santo DomingoJ-WEL Higher Education Member Profile: Universidad Mayor

Universidad Mayor is a private, non-profit university in Chile offering undergraduate degrees in more than 37 fields—including the only private conservatory of music in the country—and over 80 graduate programs in several disciplines and top doctoral scientific degrees. The student population is around 22,000 undergraduate students plus 3,000 graduate students. The institution has a strong research focus on science, biology and technology and includes 17 research centers in areas such as genomics, aging, optics, quantum computing, climate change, and public policy. The university is structured as three main Schools of Arts, Science, and Humanities—and a new transversal School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Universidad Mayor is a member of J-WEL Higher Education

The university is starting a curriculum re-design for Biological Sciences, with MIT J-WEL Higher Education input. Two courses will be redesigned initially—in molecular biology and genetics. The project will be conducted in 2019-2020, starting with an analysis phase on the current state of courses and the curriculum re-design. First implementations with students will happen from August this year.

Mario Herane, Universidad Mayor's Vice President of Development, commented: 

"These courses are taken by a high number of our students from faculty of sciences undergraduate programs. We are very excited to start working on the introduction of active learning methodologies, as well as the use of 'flipped-classroom' in those courses. Our academics are looking forward to this project and very enthusiastic to participate in generating improvements on the teaching-learning process of our students."

Mayor students and J-WEL Ambassadors

J-WEL and Universidad Mayor

Universidad Mayor recently hosted both MIT undergraduate and graduate students through the J-WEL Ambassador Program and MISTI. MIT undergraduates developed and deployed a 3-week training program in computer science with a focus on Python. This course was offered free to high school students and non-engineering majors at Universidad Mayor. The program was a great success, resulting in the certification of 90 students (see right photo). MIT graduate students performed research in the Genomics lab, including connecting with the VP of Research at Universidad Mayor. They are preparing a manuscript from this research.

"Being part of J-WEL has allowed Universidad Mayor to establish a close relationship with MIT and learn from MIT’s experience, research, and projections for the future of higher education," says Herane. He added:

"J-WEL has enabled us to discuss these ideas and apply our own context to see how models could be applicable to us. Being a J-WEL member is also an opportunity to connect with other institutions around the globe who have similar perspectives about the value of higher education."