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ASU expands global impact through new partnerships, dual-degree programs

33 Ukrainian graduate students successfully transfer to ASU Thunderbird


Person wearing glasses looking at a small globe.
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September 14, 2023

In February 2022, Arizona State University and Cintana Education launched American University Kyiv (AUK), a brand new university built to be the first-ever university in Ukraine developed in line with U.S. higher education accreditation standards.Three weeks later, the Russian army invaded Ukraine.

Still, in the face of a seemingly insurmountable hardship, the inaugural class of 150 students began pursuit of their degree studies online, many with hopes of earning a dual degree from AUK and ASU.

This fall, 33 AUK graduate students successfully transferred into the Master of Leadership and Management (MLM) degree program at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. By May 2024, students who successfully complete the program will graduate with both an MS in global management from American University Kyiv and a MLM degree from Arizona State University.

“Universities are engines of social and global transformation, and the process of earning a college degree is a way for a student to take ownership of the future they deserve,” Executive Vice President and University Provost Nancy Gonzales said. “I am inspired by the optimism and resolve shown by the 33 AUK students who are joining Arizona State University to complete their dual degrees. On behalf of ASU, I welcome them to our academic community. We look forward to providing world-class degree programs to more Ukrainians in the years to come through our partnership with American University Kyiv.”

"We are honored to be a part of the AUK program and provide accessible, high-quality education to our 33 Ukrainian students," said Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of Thunderbird. "Our vision of a world with inclusive and sustainable prosperity and peace remains our steadfast mindset, and we are committed to contributing to the advancement of all communities across the globe. On behalf of Thunderbird, we warmly welcome these students and look forward to continuing to empower our current and future leaders to have global mindsets, 21st century digital capabilities and positively impact our world."

A global network committed to access

ASU-Cintana Alliance network institutions like American University Kyiv are “Powered by ASU,” giving students, staff and administrators the opportunity to launch new research projects, engage in social impact work, access ASU academic content, educate the future workforce in their regions, nurture first-generation college graduates and provide dual-degree opportunities for students who would otherwise be unable to afford an ASU degree.

“The phrase 'Powered by ASU' comes to life in many forms. From dual-degree programs to free English language classes, online lectures from ASU faculty and study abroad programs, 'Powered by ASU' activities provide the enriching educational experience that ASU is known for in a format that is accessible to students in varying situations and contexts,” said Lois Malone, associate director of Cintana student and faculty engagement for the Office of Global Academic Initiatives.

Some “Powered by ASU” academic activities and collaborations between ASU and it’s partners include, but are not limited to:

Dual-degree articulations

Like the AUK program, dual-degrees give in-network students the chance to pursue a degree from both an American and local institution at a lower cost, without having to leave their home country. This will rapidly increase affordability and expand access to high-quality and in-demand degrees for students throughout the world.

Currently, there are 120 degree mappings into the following 10 ASU colleges:

  • College of Global Futures.

  • College of Integrative Sciences and Arts.

  • Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

  • Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

  • Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

  • New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

  • The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

  • Thunderbird School of Global Management.

  • Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

  • W. P. Carey School of Business.

Research collaborations

A key component of “Powered by ASU” are the opportunities for ASU and its partners to collaborate and develop transformational and innovative approaches to research, education and leadership. Current research includes:

Faculty engagement

  • ASU Innovation Talks: Online series for partner faculty and administrators provided by ASU experts and designed to facilitate knowledge-sharing, tips and best practices between institutions. Seven hundred and two faculty and staff from partner universities attended in academic year 2022–23.

  • Global partner affiliated faculty: Temporary courtesy affiliation for faculty from global partner universities selected by Cintana Education. Five faculty selected for academic year 2023–24.

Student engagement

The 33 students from AUK are just a portion of the 200,000 students currently enrolled at 17 network institutions, a number that continues to grow, and that ASU and Cintana Education aim to increase to 1 million students by 2030.

“ASU is rich with institutional knowledge, strategic thinking and educational innovation — support from ASU units is critical to the health and success of the network,” said Julia Rosen, vice president of the Office of Global Academic Initiatives. “We are thankful to the various units, deans, faculty members and colleagues who have contributed to the partnership and look forward to expanding future opportunities as the network continues to grow.”

For more information about the Arizona State University and Cintana Education partnership or to learn about engagement opportunities, visit the ASU Global website or contact the Office of Global Academic Initiatives at asuglobal@asu.edu.

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