“Kaplan International is in the middle of an ambitious building programme at the moment”
The college has schools in London, Cambridge and Birmingham and will be acquired for an undisclosed amount once the deal is finalised in January.
David Jones, CEO of Kaplan International, confirmed this is the first time the company have ventured into the sixth form college sector, but said it is something it has always wanted to do.
“This is an opportune moment because MPW became available,” he told The PIE News. “MPW is a premium brand with 40 years of history and we’ve been admirers of [theirs].”
Following the acquisition, Kaplan International is keen to develop the expansion of the college brand overseas.
“MPW already has an international audience, and Kaplan has admissions offices and a huge network of agent partners around the world,” said Jones. “We can help MPW reach markets where it hasn’t currently got any penetration.”
MPW teaches 950 students on roll each year, of which two thirds are British. The remaining third are international, either from expat families or recruited internationally.
Nigel Stout, CEO of MPW, said he is delighted to be joining Kaplan.
“We have long thought of Kaplan as an excellent home for our business and believe that Kaplan’s reputation and deep education heritage constitute a perfect cultural fit for MPW,” he said.
MPW will continue to operate as a sixth form college for teaching A-Levels and will be developed to offer foundation year programmes. “MPW’s brand and expertise will be vital in that project,” said Jones.
“We can help MPW reach markets where it hasn’t currently got any penetration”
While Kaplan International already recruit students of a young age on English language programmes, this acquisition will also enable them to have younger students studying at GCSE and A-Level, he added.
The move comes at a time of significant expansion for the company.
It recently opened a £100m live-learn facility on the Bournemouth University campus, its third purpose-built building. It had also previously opened residencies in Glasgow and Nottingham.
“We’ve got more in the pipeline in Brighton, Liverpool and London,” said Jones. “And we’ve got a really massive project underway in Bath, 450 beds and 30,000 square feet of teaching space, close to the city centre.”
Kaplan, which was also recently recognised for exporting excellence at this year’s Education Investor awards, being commended in particular for its market impact in sub-Saharan Africa, is further expanding its presence in emerging markets.
It has built or is currently building pathway colleges in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. It also has also expanded into Asia, owning a college in Singapore which has over 20,000 students, as well as a college in Hong Kong with over 9,000 students.