October 26, 2022
Oct 10, 2022
· Press Release

Instructure and ASU’s Thunderbird School of Global Management Partner to Provide Equitable Access to Education to 100 Million Learners Worldwide


Canvas LMS to deliver learning in more than 40 languages through the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative

SALT LAKE CITY — October 26, 2022 — Instructure, the maker of Canvas, has partnered with Thunderbird School of Global Management (Thunderbird) at Arizona State University (ASU), to provide a platform for the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative. This ambitious program is powered by the Canvas Learning Management System and aims to offer quality online education from world-class accredited institutions in 40 languages to learners across the globe. The courses will be provided at no cost to the learner with women and girls accounting for 70 percent of enrollment worldwide. 

"The Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative is exactly the type of global care initiative Instructure is excited and proud to put resources and time into supporting," said Steve Daly, CEO of Instructure. "As leaders, we need to think globally about how we deliver first-rate equal access to education with a diverse range of student needs in mind. This global initiative is an engaging online program that offers necessary flexibility and empowers forward-thinking leaders and educators worldwide. We are delighted to be a part of that kind of innovative actionable program.”

Francis and Dionne Najafi, both Thunderbird graduates, made an unprecedented $25 million donation to the Thunderbird School of Global Management earlier this year that launched the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative. The program provides world-class education to a population that previously could not access it, especially women and young learners. It continues through 2030.

"We believe access to education is a basic human right, which is why we worked with Thunderbird to create a global initiative that will educate 100 million learners worldwide," said F. Francis Najafi on behalf of him and his wife, Dionne Najafi. "We are excited and deeply humbled to be part of such a bold initiative that combines T-bird's entrepreneurial drive with a desire to do good. We hope to impact communities around the world and be a force that brings us all closer together."

“The Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative is an ambitious large-scale program, and the number of people it aims to reach with online education at no cost is unprecedented,” said Shiren Vijiasingam, chief product officer at Instructure. “The program aligns with our goal of extending inclusive education worldwide. We’re proud to partner with the initiative and support it with Canvas—a world-class solution for the world’s classrooms that makes student success more equitable.”

The Global Initiative has three pathways for learners depending on their education levels. The foundational courses are for learners of any level; the intermediate courses are for advanced high school learners to current undergraduate learners; the advanced courses are for advanced undergraduate learners and above. 

"We are honored to partner with Instructure and their Canvas LMS platform to help accelerate educational empowerment worldwide, support learners and professionals to gain the skills needed to succeed in the dynamic digitalized global economy, and advance sustainable and inclusive prosperity worldwide," said Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean at ASU’s Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Interested learners can get more information and register for courses at http://100millionlearners.com



Brian Watkins
Corporate Communications