Established in June 2001, U21Global is a graduate school with a unique focus of global management education. The postgraduate programmes offered by U21Global maintain the high standards of quality found at traditional research-intensive universities, but are delivered through an innovative, collaborative online model by a global faculty of qualified professors. This provides our students, who are working professionals from around the world, with a unique learning experience.
The foundation years
The concept of a global business school was first discussed within the Universitas 21 network. With the formation of U21Global, the concept was turned into reality with the support of the founding members of Universitas 21: Albert-Ludwig University in Freiburg (Germany), Fudan University (China), Lund University (Sweden), McGill University (Canada), National University of Singapore, University of Auckland (New Zealand), University of Birmingham (UK), University of British Columbia (Canada), University of Edinburgh (UK), University of Glasgow (UK), University of Hong Kong, University of Melbourne (Australia), University of New South Wales (Australia), University of Nottingham (UK), University of Queensland (Australia) and University of Virginia (US).
U21Global launched its flagship programme – the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in May 2003 in Singapore, and throughout Asia, Australia and the UK in the later part of the year.
U21Global subsequently expanded its education offerings to include Postgraduate Diploma and Certificate programmes, a combined programme in Tourism and Travel Management with The University of Nottingham, and a Master of Management in Information Technology.
During this period, the universities in the Universitas 21 network rigorously quality-assured U21Global's programmes through U21Pedagogica, a panel of senior academics and experts drawn from the member universities of Universitas 21.
Gaining international recognition
Despite being a relatively young institution, U21Global has received recognitions from a number of award bodies.
In 2004, U21Global was presented the e50.startup Award, which recognises Singapore's most innovative and enterprising companies. In the same year, U21Global became the only Singapore-based company to be named a Computerworld Honors Laureate, which is dedicated to identifying men and women, organisations and institutions for their leading role in the Information Technology revolution.
U21Global was named "The Best Online Executive Education Provider" by Edupoll Singapore in 2005, and was also one of the five finalists for the Australian Annual Ascilite Awards, which reward leaders in the use of electronic technologies in teaching and learning in tertiary education.
Since 2006, U21Global has been consistently listed as one of the Top Online MBA providers globally in the annual Business & Education report by the well-regarded Financial Times.
U21Global also gained recognition from a number of international accrediting bodies. The school was awarded the prestigious European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) teChnology-Enhanced Learning (CEL) accreditation in 2005. In addition, U21Global is an international member of Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Unstinting support continues to shape U21Global
Over the years, new member universities joining the Universitas 21 network offered their support of U21Global, including Korea University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China), Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico), University College Dublin (Ireland), University of Delhi (India) and Waseda University (Japan).
Corporate and institutional partnerships
U21Global's innovative learning approach also attracted the attention of others, which has led to strong partnerships with industry in the area of corporate executive education, and also collaborative partnerships with other academic institutions.
Examples of such programmes include the Postgraduate Certificate of Sales Performance and Management Studies offered jointly with Sales Performance International and the Postgraduate Programme in Information Technology Management offered jointly with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). In addition, U21Global has worked with a wide cross-section of global and regional companies to provide customised management development programmes.
Ten years on: truly coming into its own
At the turn of 2010 and the beginning of its tenth year, U21Global embarked on a new chapter in its evolution.
This phase has U21Global working even more closely with four partner universities - the University of Birmingham, the University of Melbourne, the University of Nottingham and the University of Virginia. The partnership saw increased depth and synergy, resulting in a more meaningful and rigorous collaboration.
As a sign of greater academic maturity, U21Global set up its own Academic Senate, the highest academic authority within the school to approve the design and curriculum of all programmes, the subject content, assessment standards and the credentials of all faculty members who teach U21Global's programmes. The Academic Senate includes a senior academic from each of the four partner universities.
The quality of all U21Global programmes is assured through the Academic Senate which applies rigorous academic judgment and expertise to ensure that the quality of the programmes meet the high standards set by each partner university.
Students and Alumni
The Graduate School celebrated its first cohort of 77 graduates from 15 countries at its inaugural graduation ceremony in Singapore on 28 January 2007. The size of the graduate batch grew with each year with the 2010 graduating batch having over 200 graduates.
U21Global introduced the Academic Excellence Awards in 2008 to recognise Masters degree graduates who have attained outstanding grades and shown excellent student responsibility throughout their degree programme.
In 2009, U21Global set up the Alumni Relations Office to foster closer relationships between the Graduate School and the students and alumni. U21Global Network Chapters for students and alumni were launched in China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE and Vietnam. Working closely with the in-country committee members, the network chapters promote continual networking opportunities and life-long learning among its members.
Today U21Global continues to be a thriving academic institution with over 9,000 students and alumni from 72 countries, offering a truly global learning experience and networking opportunity to working professionals around the world.