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upGrad acquires Australia’s Global Study Partners in AUD$22.5m move

Edtech provider upGrad has acquired Australian study abroad company Global Study Partners in an agreement worth AUD$22.5 million, with the promise of a further commitment of $15m for future growth.

GSP was founded in 2015 and has has a network of 600+ institutions in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the US, in addition to over 1,300 recruitment partners. Photo: GSP

Over the next three years, upGrad hopes to build a revenue of USD$100m in study abroad business

The India-based integrated higher edtech platform says the acquisition will strengthen its foray into the study abroad sector.

“As an integrated edtech leader – we span the entire gamut of a learner’s need from the age of 18-50 and in that, study abroad is a key growth initiative for us – not just out of India which is one of the two largest markets but also for our learners internationally,” said Ronnie Screwvala, chairperson & co-founder, upGrad.

“GSP coming into upGrad’s fold will be a needle mover for us to attain a head start in being a global leader in this segment too.”

Over the next three years, upGrad hopes to build a revenue of USD$100m in study abroad business.

“I see upGrad and GSP empowering (and not disrupting) the study abroad sector by providing international students with access to a wide range of quality study overseas, online learning and blended learning opportunities,” Global Study Partners CEO Elaine Starkey told The PIE.

“In upGrad, we have found a long-term partner that will help us realise our core mission – to provide students with access to higher education providers globally via our recruitment partners, and to provide our institution partners with qualified, quality enrolments.

“We are driven to deliver choice and diversity in a blended high tech and high touch environment. We believe that with upGrad’s expertise and reach we can achieve enormous scale whilst maintaining our commitment to quality.”

“In upGrad, we have found a long-term partner that will help us realise our core mission”

“With these two education giants in the key supplier and the demand markets combining forces, we are looking to build a revenue of USD$100m in study abroad business in the next three years,” Gaurav Kumar, president – Corporate Development and M&A at upGrad, said.

Australia is one of the biggest destination markets for Indian learners, hosting some 150,000 each year, he added.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Sydney, GSP has placed international students from 22 different countries into key study destination markets including Australia, UK, Ireland, US and Canada, the partners emphasised.

GSP has more than 1,300 recruitment partners, including education and migration agents, schools, test preparation centres, alumni associations, they added.

upGrad will continue to focus on online education as it enters the study abroad sector, pointing to a report indicating that 45.2% of prospective global students are now interested in studying their program virtually as an alternative following the pandemic.

With a key goal of increasing access to education – as upGrad co-founder & MD Mayank Kumar told The PIE in 2019 – the partners noted that Indian students opting to study higher education abroad is expected to reach around 1.8 million by 2024.

Online will continue to emerge as the dominant channel for availing these services, upGrad indicated.

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