Thunderbird at ASU Expands Global Educational Access through Key Partnerships in India

Thunderbird at ASU Expands Global Educational Access | Future Education Magazine


This fall, Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, has taken substantial steps in bolstering the school’s global influence by enhancing access to education across India and worldwide. This initiative is made possible through the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative.

Strengthening Ties with West Bengal

Khagram’s collaboration with the Department of Higher Education, on behalf of the Government of West Bengal, marks a significant milestone. Thunderbird will partner with the department to offer the Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative and its courses throughout West Bengal. This partnership opens doors to industry-relevant education for the youth population in India.

Alliance with the International Institute of Hotel Management

The International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), a globally recognized hotel management college in India, has joined hands with Thunderbird. Through a letter of agreement, Thunderbird will launch the Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative across all IIHM centers in India. This partnership is aimed at providing globally recognized courses to students across the country.

Techno India University Collaboration

Furthering the reach of the initiative, Khagram signed an agreement with Techno India University/Techno India Group. This collaboration ensures that the Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative is extended to students, faculty, staff, and the broader communities associated with the university. It represents a commitment to fostering global leadership and knowledge exchange.

Scaling Across India

To scale the initiative across India, Thunderbird is engaging with governments, corporations, and nonprofits in various regions, including Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. As a nonresident Indian with roots in Gujarat, Khagram has facilitated partnerships to broaden access to leadership, management, and entrepreneurship courses.

Diverse Collaborations and Impact

Collaborations with organizations such as OrangeSlates, a community-based platform for educators, further expand the reach of the initiative in India. The program, accessible in 40 languages, focuses on providing online education at no cost to learners, with an emphasis on empowering women. The initiative is supported by philanthropy, ensuring full scholarships for learners.

Vision for the Future

Khagram expressed his gratitude for the impactful collaborations in India, emphasizing the potential global benefit of the initiative. Shri Manish Jain IAS, principal secretary of the Department of School Education with the Government of West Bengal, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the far-reaching impact the partnership will have.

Bold and Ambitious Global Initiative

The Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative stands as one of the boldest and most ambitious global education initiatives. With a focus on empowering women and reaching learners at various educational levels, Thunderbird, through its partnerships, aims to shape the future of education in India and beyond. Khagram’s ancestral ties to Gujarat add a personal touch to this transformative initiative, showcasing the commitment of Thunderbird and its partners to advancing educational access and excellence.

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