Arizona State University Partners with Cintana Education to Launch Global University Network

Unique collaboration will help institutions worldwide meet rising demand for higher education; scale access to high-quality programs.

TEMPE — August 27, 2019 —Cintana Education, a new public benefit corporation led by Laureate Education, Inc. founder Douglas Becker, today announced a groundbreaking collaboration with Arizona State University (ASU) designed to bring the institution’s experience and innovations to colleges and universities worldwide. Named the most innovative university in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report and one of the world’s most prestigious universities by Times Higher Education, ASU has grown its student body by 40% in five years, while boosting retention and graduation rates for students from all backgrounds.

Although the World Bank reports a 17% increase in earnings per year of post-secondary schooling, access gaps are pervasive in global higher education. In the poorest countries, an estimated 8% of young adults are enrolled in college, compared to 74% in the richest countries.  Just 10% of the world’s students currently have access to ranked universities. 

“In an era where higher education remains the most powerful global lever for economic mobility, our goal is to empower selected institutions outside of the United States to achieve their ambitious goals for growth in scale and quality. To do so, we will combine our experiences with the experience and resources of ASU to enhance academic quality and drive innovation,” said Douglas Becker, founder and chairman of Cintana Education. “I know of no other comparable institution that has achieved such extraordinary growth, while making remarkable gains in the quality of teaching and student outcomes. ASU has engaged in many bold partnerships, including with industry, and in the process has become a research powerhouse. These breakthroughs could only have been accomplished through the visionary leadership of the institution and the quality and support of the ASU faculty.”

Cintana Education was conceived through a collaboration between ASU president Michael Crow and pioneering education entrepreneur Becker, who founded Laureate Education and grew it into the largest university network in the world — reaching more than one million students studying at over 200 campuses and online in 28 countries. Becker also co-founded or led several other notable education companies including the Sylvan Learning Centers network of tutoring centers and the Prometric network of computer-based testing centers. 

“U.S. institutions have increasingly focused on attracting international students to the U.S., but few have been able to engage effectively at the local level outside of America to help institutions advance in their home country,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. “This partnership with Cintana allows us to fulfill our charter’s mandate to engage not just in Arizona and nationally — but globally.  Doug brings vast experience in the design and implementation of new models for higher education, and he shares our belief that innovation can unlock unprecedented gains in scale and quality for institutions around the world.”

The new firm, which will be based in Tempe, Arizona, has been established to enable primarily non-profit universities outside the U.S. to draw upon expertise and innovation from both ASU and Cintana to meet their countries’ unique needs. Cintana will also partner with government entities and the private sector to support the development of start-up universities equipped to meet the needs of their countries.                              

Participating universities will become part of the Cintana Alliance, a global network of universities, which will offer coordinated academic programs that allow students to earn degrees across multiple institutions.

Media Contact: Jenna Talbot,, 760.390.6978