Sign up

Have some pie!

i-graduate goes Stateside as Tribal Group expands

Tribal Group, the UK-based education support services giant, has significantly expanded its North American operations by opening offices in Boston, USA and Vancouver, Canada this month in order to usher in services from two companies within the group’s portfolio:  Benchmark+ and i-graduate.

Tribal Group formed a partnership with University of British Columbia last year. Photo: UBC

"The US has to take advantage of the fact that the country is still the premiere brand for higher education internationally"

i-graduate is well known in the international HE sector for its International Student Barometer surveys and suite of student insight services. Tribal’s Benchmark + product is a financial benchmarking and insight tool also well established in the UK market.

“Tribal is attacking North America on a number of fronts,” said Richard Garret, Director of Performance Analytics North America for Tribal Group based in Boston.

The move into North America follows previous movements to broaden activity in the region. A North American anchor for the company’s student management systems was set up via a partnership with the University of British Columbia in Canada last year.

Garrett told The PIE News that the timing for the expansion is perfect as many US institutions – where international students make up just 4% of total student population – begin to look beyond the domestic market.

“The US is in an odd position of being in one sense a leader and in another sense a lagger”

“The US is in an odd position of being in one sense a leader and in another sense a lagger,” he said.

“Because the domestic market in the US has experienced a number of years of negative decline, the adult market is already over stimulated and the online market is going to plateau in the near future. There’s a growing recognition that international is actually, despite its size, an underdeveloped opportunity in the US.”

Part of that opportunity is “to take advantage of the fact that the country is still the premiere brand for higher education internationally”, he added.

Tribal Group will market the financial health check service, Benchmark+, to institutions in Canada and the USA as well as launch i-graduate’s largest ever International Student Barometer (ISB).

Both Benchmark+, used by 60% of colleges in the UK and with presence in Australia and New Zealand, and the ISB, administered in 800 universities worldwide, will aid US universities to compare themselves with North American and international competitors as well as provide a larger picture of the global education market.

Garrett says 2014 will be a preparatory year for Benchmark+ in order to become familiar with the US and Canadian markets.

“We’re exploring it now, seeing if we have to adjust the language, and aiming for groups of institutions that want to benchmark rather than go one to one,” he commented. “It’s very early days.”

Both Benchmark+ and the International Student Barometer will aid US universities to compare themselves with North American and international competitors

And  i-graduate, acquired by the group last year for £7.5 million, has been working in the US since 2006. Despite not previously having a North American office it has already secured clients in the USA and Canada including Utah State University, the University of Central Missouri, Gonzaga University and the University of Minnesota.

Last autumn these institutions along with 40 others took part in the ISB. In the coming months, Garret and his team will present data based on feedback from over 1.7 million students worldwide on their study experiences including recruitment, application process and learning services.

Last spring i-graduate also announced a partnership with University of California, Berkeley to deliver its Student Experience in Research Universities – International (SERU-I) programme– an extensive data collection and analysis of the undergraduate experience at research universities that has until now only  focused on US domestic institutions.

i-graduate, the parent company of  The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, will begin SERU-I surveys this fall in Asia at Nanjing University, Hunan University and Osaka University.

Will Archer, i-graduate’s Chief Executive Officer, said he was “delighted to be partnering with one of the top universities of the world” and that collaboration increases the company’s “global offering in student engagement and experience benchmarking”.

Related articles

Still looking? Find by category:

Add your comment

3 Responses to i-graduate goes Stateside as Tribal Group expands

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: All user contributions posted on this site are those of the user ONLY and NOT those of The PIE Ltd or its associated trademarks, websites and services. The PIE Ltd does not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with any comments, opinions or statements or other content provided by users.
PIE Review

The latest issue of the PIE Review is out now! To view now, please

Click here