This month, the group announced its acquisition of International House New York and International House Boston from former owner Tasha Hacker and said all its locations will now be unified under the OHC brand offering the same curriculum globally.
The group also acquired US CELTA and DELTA teacher training giant, Teaching House from Ryan Horsnail.
Speaking exclusively with The PIE News, group director Stephen Nagle said the size and location of the two new US schools was the motivator behind the acquisition.
“Both schools have solid programmes and are benefiting from growth in the US as the UK loses market share in comparison,” he said. “The economies of scale in having our worldwide network of agents will afford a greater exposure for the Boston and New York schools.”
Commenting on the addition of Teaching House to the group’s portfolio, he underlined the history of teacher training at Holmes Group locations in Australia.
“In the ELT space, credibly comes with teacher training. It fits with our academic focus”
“We were one of the first of three to offer CELTA in Australia so Holmes has a 25-year history in teacher training. Teaching House is the new kid on the block but has a smart web-based recruitment strategy.”
Nagle said the company expects to welcome 1,000 teachers in its first enrolment round at Teaching House.
With higher education institutions across Australia, he added that “in the ELT space, credibly comes with teacher training. It [acquiring Teaching House] fits with our academic focus.”
Established in London in 1974, OHC made its first foray into North America with its purchase of SOL Schools in Miami last year.
The group now operates its three US locations with Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary rounding out its North American centres. In the UK, it operates in Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Richmond and London while in Australia it has centres in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Cairns.
With the UK ELT market trending downward, Nagle remains bullish about Australia’s strong performance throughout 2014 that has continued into this year and Canada’s draw as a study-work destination.
“London remains a quality player and Canada is steady,” he said. “The ELT market comes and goes. The challenge is to grow.”