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NZ: Navitas to acquire ELT operator CCEL

An award-winning English language school in New Zealand, Christchurch College of English Limited (CCEL) is to be acquired by vocational education provider Navitas.

CCEL is located on the campus of the University of Canterbury.

"The acquisition will expand New Zealand's footprint as a key international education destination"

CCEL is the University of Canterbury’s official on-campus English language provider, with approximately 350 students across colleges in Christchurch and Auckland. It has been the sole English language provider for Navitas’ pathway college, UC International College since 2013.

Most recently, Navitas delivered a mixed result for FY17, reporting a 5% loss in group revenue and 5% growth in student numbers for its university partnership colleges.

However group CEO of Navitas Rod Jones said the acquisition will allow Navitas to increase its offering while also expanding New Zealand’s footprint as a key international education destination.

“CCEL is a well-regarded New Zealand brand and has a very strong reputation as a high quality education provider with the highest possible quality rating from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority,” he said.

Managing director of CCEL Rob McKay told The PIE News that the acquisition would “future-proof” the strong partnership between all three institutions.

“From my point of view, there are absolutely no downsides to [the acquisition]. I am happy to transfer the responsibilities to Navitas as I believe they will maintain the family feel of the school while opening new doors for us.”

Principal of UC International College, Stewart Brougham,added: “[The acquisition] will help create a seamless pathway for international students looking to transition from English language training to foundation studies and ultimately into a pathway program at one of the country’s premier universities.

“The integration of CCEL operations also creates the opportunity for us to develop new education services outside Christchurch, leveraging the tremendous reputation that CCEL has built in the New Zealand market.”

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and a periodic audit by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, which are expected by December 2017.

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