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Young people from 9 countries comprise the IE University Junior Advisory Board

14/03/2011 - General

Members met in Madrid from March 31 to April 4 to discuss how they imagine the university of the future, the fields of knowledge that will play a key role in the coming years, and the potential of internet to further the learning process.

They feel that university education has to be modern, practical, creative and socially responsible.

IE University held its first International Junior Advisory Board (JAB) Meeting from March 31 to April 1, with 14 board members aged between 13 and 18 years old from Spain, Mexico, Russia, Peru, Singapore, China, Uganda, South Africa and the US. Members were selected to form part of the Board based on their extraordinary profiles,  and brought to the IE Campuses in Madrid and Segovia to debate what the university of the future will be like, which fields of knowledge will play a key role over the coming years, and the potential of online channels to serve as an education tool.   

During their stay in Spain, these young members met up with members of the IE Advisory Board, comprised of top executives that include Emilio Azcárraga (Televisa), Luciano Benetton (Benetton), Carl Hahn (Volkswagen), Magda Salarich (Banco Santander), Amparo Moraleda (Iberdrola) and Peter Sutherland (Goldman Sachs). The members of the Junior Advisory Board presented their senior counterparts with their conclusions regarding future university education. 

The ideas they put forward include the belief that university programs have to be modern, practical, creative and socially responsible. "I want to see the world as it is – raw, inedited and unfiltered. That is the only way for an artist to see", said Myhrra Duarte of Mexico. The members of the Junior Advisory Board see  globalization as a vehicle for new opportunities and industries to grow and for a greater exchange of ideas.   "If education was the human body, humanism would be the heart", said Ms. Duarte, "and without it, education would die".  Humanistic values, they believe, are fundamental not only in a person’s development as a professional but as a human being.  

"We have to listen to young people to design education programs that respond to their concerns, taking into account the way they see the world, covering the fields they see as most relevant, and leveraging their proficiency in technologies", says IE University. "This initiative further underlines IE´s commitment to promote innovation and humanities, and its international approach to higher education". 

In order to select members of the board, IE University used its network of international offices in 20 countries, which contacted 100 schools and colleges to ask them to recommend candidates based on their  intellectual capacity and maturity, language and technology skills, curiosity, determination, capacity for work, creative intelligence and commitment to humanistic values and social responsibility.  

After studying the candidatures exhaustively, the JAB project heads selected 14 young people. Some of the youngsters have received distinctions in their home countries for their achievements in disciplines like mathematics, sports or journalism. Some have blogs with thousands of readers or have rendered humanitarian services in the wake of natural disasters, such as the Sichuan earthquake, which shook central China in 2008. Others have participated in international forums like Club Unesco, War Affected Children and United Nations Module at Harvard.

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