In the first phase of its five-year strategy, Bell is aiming for 200 long-stay students by 2016 and also seeks to grow its partner universities.
As well as investing in its HE offering, Bell will increase its number of schools both in the UK and overseas across its three other core platforms: ELT for adults, Young Learners and Teacher Training.
“We are investing in the business to give our customers more choice”
“We are investing in the business to give our customers more choice,” CEO Greg Hoile told The PIE News. “This means more centres in the UK and overseas and new English and academic programmes to prepare our customers for school, university and the world of work.”
“Preparing international students for life at a UK university is something we do very well with 100% university placement record and over 90% of students receive an offer from a top 50 UK university,” he added.
Bell is also looking to increase its impact on the world stage by developing business streams and a sales capacity in China, Switzerland and other key international markets.
“We are looking at a variety of markets for growth for the different business streams. China is a focus,” confirmed Hoile.
“We are looking at a variety of markets for growth for the different business streams. China is a focus”
“We recently showcased international education to over 400 teachers, principals and officials at a conference in the city of Foshan, China and as a result we have an opportunity to train a number of teachers in-country,” he added.
In its Young Learners category, which comprises of junior programmes run at UK boarding schools and a year-round centre in St Albans, Bell is aiming for 10% growth, with a particular focus on year-round learning.
Meanwhile with the added revenue, the company will further support its educational charity, The Bell Foundation, which was founded in 2012 with the aim of creating opportunities and overcoming exclusion through language education.
“We will also be able to generate profits to grow the business and fund the work of The Bell Foundation”
“We are investing to grow the business in order to impact the lives of more customers through our educational programmes, by doing this we will also be able to generate profits to grow the business and fund the work of The Bell Foundation,” said Hoile.
Established in the 1950s, Bell offers programmes throughout the UK and internationally in Switzerland, China, Bulgaria, Poland and Thailand. Under a previous CEO, it made a decision to limit its franchise network.
From 2007-2011, Bell operated Bedgebury school, an international boarding school for 12-18 year olds from more than 40 countries.
Bell Bedgebury International School closed in July 2011 and the site as a whole was sold to a private buyer in 2012 due to the changing market which had seen British boarding schools offering direct entry to international students.
The company first introduced pathway programmes 10 years ago and now has 17 partner universities, its newest being Lancaster University.