Franklin Pierce expands M.B.A. Program to Ukraine, earns Governor's Export Award 

October 20, 2008

Luhansk, Ukraine billboard promoting Franklin Pierce M.B.A.KEENE, NH - Franklin Pierce University received the Governor's Export Achievement Award for its partnership with a Ukrainian university that is offering a growing number of international students an English Conversation Institute and M.B.A. program in a region that had lacked opportunities for graduate-level business training.

The award was presented by state Sen. Molly Kelly at an international trade seminar October 9 at Keene State College organized by the New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center (IRTC) and the state Small Business Development Center.

Franklin Pierce University joined Luhansk National Pedagogical University in Ukraine in 2006 to create an Accelerated English Conversation Institute and online M.B.A. program. The partnership resulted from an exploratory visit several months earlier by a New Hampshire trade delegation that included Franklin Pierce President George J. Hagerty and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Raymond Van der Riet. The goal for the University was to find a Ukrainian partner to become part of an emerging central and eastern European network of academic partnerships.

"Franklin Pierce would like to be part of the education system that emerges as eastern and southeastern European countries grow closer to European Union membership and integration," President Hagerty said. "At the same time, Luhansk University wanted the opportunity to partner with an American university with a quality, accredited MBA program. This partnership is giving both of our institutions the ability and opportunity to make a significant difference in international higher education."

The Governor's Award specifically mentioned Franklin Pierce's innovative M.B.A. program that combines online distance education with local instruction, and combines U.S. faculty with faculty in Ukraine who have been trained by Franklin Pierce instructors. The commendation also noted that the partnership has allowed several M.B.A. candidates from Luhansk University to travel to New Hampshire and meet with Granite State business leaders.

So far, 88 students have graduated from three English Conversation Institutes conducted on site by Franklin Pierce. A fourth is planned for summer 2009. The pilot phase of the MBA program enrolled its first three students in March 2007. An additional 12 students joined this pilot group in September 2007, and another 43 students began the program in September 2008.

Franklin Pierce and Luhansk University faculty worked closely together in the development and customization of the MBA program for the Ukraine market. The goal was to develop a quality accredited international MBA for Ukraine. Most of the collaboration took place through the Franklin Pierce online learning management system.

Franklin Pierce administrators and faculty have made several trips to Luhansk University for faculty training and planning. Luhansk University delegations have also visited Franklin Pierce University on several occasions. These visits have further strengthened the Franklin Pierce-Luhansk University partnership.

Earlier this year, the academic collaboration received additional support from the U.S. State Department and USAID, which provided two years of funding for a total of $400,000.

In March 2007, President Hagerty received an Honorary Degree in recognition of his efforts to enhance Ukrainian education. Franklin Pierce reciprocated this honor in May 2008 by conferred an Honorary Degree on the president of Luhansk University, Dr. Vitaliy Kurylo. The two institutions continue to explore other areas of cooperation, including possible faculty and student exchange options.

The Governor's Export Achievement Award commended Franklin Pierce University for successfully navigating a foreign market and exporting a New Hampshire-based higher education program with international relevance. The award also noted that Franklin Pierce has recently expanded its signature study abroad programs to include Vienna, Austria; Athens, Greece and Lyon, France.

"We are honored by this award and particularly pleased by the governor's recognition that higher education is a valuable service that can meet global needs in the same way that tangible products can be successfully exported," said President Hagerty. "Each time I visit our Ukrainian university partner, I am gratified that students there are gaining the skills to become productive and ethical business leaders who will make their own contributions to the global marketplace."

Learn more about the M.B.A. program at Franklin Pierce University.