Keypath Education, a world leader in education marketing and online enablement, has launched its European operations this week, promising a multimillion pound investment in UK universities.
Keypath Education, which delivered marketing and technology services for more than 4,000 universities since 1989 as PlattForm, has said that it has seen considerable interest from UK universities in launching online degrees, and that this would be their sole focus until 2017.
In June, the company announced the appointment of Rajay Naik as CEO (Europe) to lead the expansion. Naik previously spent five years as a Director at The Open University and before that was a member of Lord Browne’s landmark higher education review. Speaking this week, he forecasted “substantial and strategic innovation” by Britain’s universities over the coming years:
“We enjoy some of the best universities on the planet, and technology is offering our sector an incredible opportunity to expand, innovate and enhance the student experience. We are proud of our reputation for quality, and the new brand allows us to unify our global operations whilst concentrating our focus on online higher education. We are looking forward to working closely with more British universities over the coming years and contributing to the continued success of UK higher education.”
Keypath Education researches, designs, launches, markets and delivers online degree programmes for its university partners in the UK, United States and Australia. British universities have expanded digital offerings in recent years, but their breadth of provision is tiny in comparison to the United States where more than 5,000 institutions teach over 21 million students online. Naik, an architect of the FutureLearn platform, which offers free courses from over 70 partners, says that is set to change: “The global ambition of our universities continues to expand, and they appreciate the constraints of conventional campuses. Higher quality online degree programmes allow universities to innovate, students to have more choice and our sector and economy to prosper.”
An expansion in online learning could also reverse the recent fall in the numbers of international students studying with British universities due to visa restrictions. A staggering 1.4 million students requiring visas have shunned the UK and opted to study in the United States or Australia instead; however, Naik commented that “a major advantage of online degrees is that students in Mumbai, Montreal and Munich can study with a UK university without needing to secure a visa or leave their job. It opens up a world of opportunity, particularly for those who do not have the financial ability to leave their home to go to university.”
Keypath Education now has more than 600 employees in offices throughout the world, including London, Coventry, Chicago, Kansas City, Toronto and Melbourne. They expect that their partnerships with the UK’s universities will mean their investment in British education will rise to many millions of pounds by 2016/2017.