For the past 10 years, the school has exclusively catered to learners aged 12-17. But in the new building, housed in an 18th-century sandstone church, the school will offer courses to both adults and young learners.
“It’s about bringing [students] into the community as well”
“Clients were asking us to move into the adult market,” director and owner, Chris Moonie said. “Most schools start in the adult market and then move into juniors, whereas we had conquered the junior market.”
Moonie said partners had encouraged Mackenzie to open an adult school – adding that there has been a rise in demand for family programs.
“It was a natural progression for us,” he said. “We can now offer family programs and parents can enjoy studying in the same building as their children but knowing they are safe, and not far away.”
Mackenzie witnessed 50% growth in 2017. Other schools including British Study Centres Edinburgh saw similar growth, but for Moonie, Edinburgh’s success is not immediately clear.
He suggested the pound’s exchange rate impacted the market – echoing a factor English UK gave for an increase in student numbers.
“Overall between all of us I think we failed a little bit in terms of delivering,” he said, indicating that demand outweighed supply in Edinburgh last year – another reason for Mackenzie’s expansion.
The school, in the district of Leith, has doubled its administrative and bookings teams, as well as its overall space.
“The adult market might not go crazy,” Moonie admitted, but it’s about offering something unique.
“I think it’s not just about the program but it’s about bringing [students] into the community as well.
“We’ve got adult learners doing workshops for us with other students… It is a fluid environment where staff and students mix and mingle. There is nothing like this in Edinburgh.”