With $25M reward, ASU’s Thunderbird Faculty of International Administration aims to teach 100 million throughout the world by 2030

January 20, 2022

Historic gift from Francis and Dionne Najafi extends school’s reach globally

Arizona Point out University’s Thunderbird Faculty of World-wide Management announced options currently to teach 100 million pupils by 2030, many thanks to a historic $25 million donation.

Phoenix philanthropists Francis and Dionne Najafi are funding an accredited on the internet World Management and Entrepreneurship Certificate, consisting of five world-course courses in 40 diverse languages, as element of the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners International Initiative.

The certificate will be lined by comprehensive scholarships, so at no value to pupils. The courses, which consist of topics these types of as worldwide management, buyer expertise and world wide entrepreneurship, launch in April.

“There is a massive overall body of folks close to the environment who have no entry to education and learning,” Francis Najafi claimed. “My spouse and I imagine of education and learning as component of your simple human rights. … As an immigrant some five decades ago, I figured out the benefit of schooling. I figured out my primary management competencies and leadership listed here at Thunderbird, exactly where I also realized that you can get the job done via your cultural and social variances. That is so special to Thunderbird.”

The learners in the initiative will acquire a badge for every system they finish and a 15-device accredited certificate upon effective completion of all 5 classes. They will have lifelong mastering solutions and alternate educational pathways as a result of Thunderbird and ASU, or will be ready to transfer the credits to other universities around the globe.

The prepare is for a phased approach. In the 1st yr, the initiative aims to achieve learners in Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Indonesia, Egypt, India, Senegal, Brazil and Vietnam in their native languages.

By the next calendar year, the program will be expanded throughout Africa, the Center East, Asia and Latin The us to at minimum 25 languages.

By the fourth year or before, the method will have expanded to Europe and Central Asia with 40 complete languages. At some point, the initiative will be obtainable for learners all over the world, achieving the target of 100 million learners. 

“Today’s announcement is a match-changer in many respects,” stated Soraya Hakuziyaremye, a Thunderbird alumna, former Rwandan minister of trade and present deputy Central Financial institution governor of Rwanda.

Hakuziyaremye mentioned Africans throughout the continent will be capable to obtain a planet-course world instruction.

Thunderbird has touched much more than 2 million learners in its 75-yr background, reported Thunderbird Director Normal and Dean Sanjeev Khagram.

“As a refugee of Idi Amin’s Uganda, my lifestyle was reworked by getting obtain to globe-course education, so this is deeply personal for me. The Najafi Thunderbird World-wide Initiative is educational inclusion, innovation and impact at a all over the world scale,” Khagram stated.

Francis Najafi came to The united states from Iran to get an schooling and acquired four levels from three universities. In 1982, he founded Pivotal Team, a actual estate possibility fund. Later he broadened Pivotal Group’s mandate, efficiently investing in non-public fairness and development enterprise options.

“Access to greater schooling and the have to have for fairness and inclusion is 1 of a global scale,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “One of the factors Arizona Point out University is so delighted to have Thunderbird as portion of our enterprise is because it is a college that has been concentrated on sustained prosperity all over the world for a long time. The dedication produced to the university by Francis and Dionne Najafi will affect communities around the environment and be a pressure that brings all of us nearer alongside one another. We are grateful for their dedication to a borderless growth of the alternatives that arrive with better education and learning.”

Discover far more about the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Worldwide Initiative.

Major graphic: Thunderbird Faculty of Worldwide Administration headquarters in downtown Phoenix. Photo by Samantha Chow/ASU News