Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thunderbird moves further into East Asia - ECP

Thunderbird recently has taken several dramatic steps into the world’s most dynamic growth region – East Asia. The School has a new dual-degree program with a top business school in Taipei; a student exchange program with a Beijing university; a non-degree certificate program in Beijing, Shanghai and other cities; and has hired a director of Regional Initiatives based in Singapore.

“East Asia is one of the world’s most economically dynamic regions,” says Thunderbird President Ángel Cabrera. “By expanding our presence in Asia, we can strengthen the learning options for our students and further solidify our long-standing expertise and presence in this critical market.”

In Taipei, Thunderbird has partnered with Soochow University to offer a dual degree that allows students to earn an MBA from Soochow and a Master of Global Management from Thunderbird. The 2 ½-year program, which begins this fall, requires 30 credits of study the first year at Soochow, followed by 30 credits of study at Thunderbird the second year. Students then return to Soochow, a private university with approximately 13,000 students, to complete their theses in the summer and fall.

The agreement also allows undergraduates in the final semester at Soochow the opportunity to take courses in one of Thunderbird’s new master’s degree programs -- Master of Science in Global Management or Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management – and for Soochow Executive MBA students to enroll in one of Thunderbird’s Summerim or Winterim courses. Classes for Thunderbird's MA in Global Affairs and Management and the MS in Global Management begin this fall.

During the break between the spring and fall trimesters, Thunderbird offers Summerim and Winterim courses, trip up to 20 days to spots around the world where students have in-depth cultural experiences and private meetings with corporate and political leaders. In January, more than 100 Thunderbird MBA students gathered for Winterims in places like Costa Rica, South Africa, Switzerland, Mexico, China and Jordan.

In March, Thunderbird signed an agreement with the Enterprise Research Institute of the Development Research Center of the State Council of China to offer the School’s first formal non-degree Corporate Learning certificate program in China. “Going Global Entrepreneurially” is a 12-month program for Chinese managers, who will meet several times a month in Beijing, Shanghai and other Chinese cities. The first program begins in September.

Earlier this year, Thunderbird also established an exchange program partnership with Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, one of the most prestigious and selective universities in China, often referred to as the “MIT of China.” The campus is in northwest Beijing, in the Haidian District, which is an area designed for universities, and is on the former site of Qing Dynasty Royal Gardens. The student exchange will begin with the fall trimester.

With the Tsinghua Univeristy parntership, Thunderbird has exchange agreements with more than 15 top business schools around the world. Participating in an exchange program satisfies the Thunderbird Global Experience, which requires that a student have at least one study-abroad internship outside their home country.

In an effort to further expand its Asian operations, Thunderbird named Michele von Rautenkranz ‘88 as director of Regional Initiatives, Southeast Asia. Rautenkranz has responsibility for Thunderbird activities in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei and Singapore, where she will be based.



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