Thunderbird and Zayed University receive grant to further develop curriculum and skills enrichment partnership

November 21, 2008

Thunderbird School of Global Management is expanding its existing partnership with Zayed University through a $284,000 grant from the Higher Education for Development (HED).  HED works in close partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and presidential higher education associations to support the involvement of higher education in development issues worldwide.

With this new grant, Thunderbird will send faculty members to Zayed, which is based in the United Arab Emirates to join together in case studies covering several topics including Emirates businesses going global, the expansion of global businesses inside the UAE, the process of economic development in the country, the global mindset of business leaders in the UAE, and female entrepreneurship in the region.

Case writing will also contribute to faculty development as Thunderbird professors assist Zayed professors with advanced research skills and the utilization of cases within the classroom. Zayed professors will help strengthen Thunderbird’s understanding of the cultural, environmental, and geo-political realities in the Middle East.

In addition to Thunderbird faculty traveling to the UAE, Zayed will host immersion classes for Thunderbird students participating in the MBA and other Masters programs. Students from both schools will greatly benefit from these opportunities.

The grant program also involves administering the Global Mindset Inventory (GMI) to Zayed faculty, staff and students. The GMI is a diagnostic tool designed at Thunderbird to measure the specific social, psychological and intellectual attributes that enable managers to influence individuals, groups and organizations from different sociocultural systems. Based on the results of the GMI, Thunderbird will work with Zayed to help modify their curriculum to better develop their students’ global mindset capabilities.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant as it provides significant support to further build upon our successful partnership with Zayed University,” said Robert Widing, Thunderbird’s Provost. “Indeed, it provides us with the means to further develop our teaching and research agenda and profile in the Middle East.”

Zayed was established in 1998 by the federal government of the U.A.E. It has campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai led by a single administration, and offers similar programs on both campuses. The new developments in the program could start as early as January 2009.

Thunderbird began its partnership with Zayed in April 2008 with an agreement to provide faculty for select courses in Zayed’s new Master of Science in International Business degree. The program is a combination of classroom and distance learning that will end with a capstone international experience for Zayed students hosted by Thunderbird in Arizona.