INTO University Partnerships

INTO University Partnerships is a British for-profit pathway education provider focused on the provision of foundation courses for international students.

INTO University Partnerships
Company typePrivate, for-profit
FounderAndrew Colin

History and ownership edit

INTO University Partnerships was founded in 2005 by Andrew Colin, who also founded INTO's rival in offering international pre-degree programmes, Study Group. Following a share placing in 2013, INTO placed one quarter of its equity with New York-based Leeds Equity Partners for £66m.[1]

In their submission to the Home Affairs Select Committee on student visas in 2011, INTO said it had "welcomed and educated almost 21,000 students from more than 138 countries and territories to the UK and provide direct employment for close to 1,350 people in the UK alone".[2]

A research report commissioned by NAFSA identified INTO University Partnerships as one of the eight third-party providers offering pathway programmes for international students in the United States.[3]

In May 2018, it was reported that owner and founder Colin was seeking a buyer for his INTO University Partnerships. Looking to sell INTO for US$400.1 million, Colin hired Deutsche Bank to look at strategic options after receiving a number of takeover approaches.[4]

Issues with UCU and other universities edit

Several British universities approached by INTO decided not to proceed after consulting with their staff. After a survey of staff at the University of Essex, 90% rejected the proposed partnership.[5] The objection to involvement with INTO was compounded by two things: that INTO does not recognise unions, and that Colin acknowledged that the rates offered were likely to be worse.[6]

The International Centre for English Language Studies (ICELS) at Oxford Brookes University strongly opposed INTO's approach, and the University and College Union (UCU) claimed credit for this opposition influencing the university's decision.[7][8]

In February 2007, the Times Higher Education published an article featuring the UCU's dispute of guarantees that INTO offered to existing Newcastle staff.[9] Colin rejected the UCU criticism, saying in 2007, "Give me three years and I will show you it is possible to create secure, well-paid jobs in EAP, and more of them," and rejected the similarity of his business model to private finance initiatives.[10]

Colin said of the lecturers' union in 2008, "I've asked for a dialogue with the UCU, but they won't talk to us. The union causes a lot of anxiety and talk about standards and job losses, they don't mention the fact that we are creating jobs and that the university is responsible for academic standards."[11]

In July 2008, INTO threatened UCU with a legal suit for defamation, in response to a union briefing entitled "Into the unknown." The union removed the document from their website.[12]

INTO announced that it had signed its first agreement in the United States in July 2008, to operate a foundation year programme for Oregon State University. OSU said that it had long wanted to expand the number of international students, and turned to INTO for its worldwide infrastructure and expertise in recruitment; some staff members, on the other hand, expressed concerns over working conditions. The programme was due to start in autumn 2009 with 150–200 students. A local news source, OregonLive, stated that the new venture would "replace the English Language Institute, a self-sustaining program that has helped international students learn English for 43 years," a move that filled its former director with concern.[13][14]

INTO had been in preliminary discussion with several other British universities in 2008, the majority of which decided not to form a partnership, including University of Essex, Goldsmiths College and University of Westminster. Essex elected to restructure its own international operations, and Goldsmiths to suspend its internationalisation plans.[15]

INTO discussed by UK parliamentarians edit

In March 2008, INTO reached the parliamentary record when Member of Parliament (MP) Austin Mitchell asked why it had not filed financial records with Companies House, as it was legally obliged to do.[16]

Colin said in Times Higher Education that the delay in submitting accounts was a "simple mistake." He also revealed that the first set of submitted accounts showed a loss of £1.7m, but stated that the company would be beyond the break-even point by the third year.[11]

INTO's business model was welcomed by Bill Rammell, former minister of state in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, in response to a question from Colchester MP Bob Russell.[17]

INTO Air controversy edit

According to the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) database on registered civil aircraft, a subsidiary, INTO Air, featured a Swiss-built Pilatus PC-12 aircraft with the registration G-INTO.[18] An article in General Aviation magazine quoted the cost of these aircraft as starting at $4m and stated that Colin ordered a second aircraft for delivery in 2010.[19]

INTO founder Colin credited the first corporate plane, which he had had for only a few months at the time of the interview, with transforming the way he and his UK team did business, removing much of the strain of travel, saying, "In one week we attended meetings in Glasgow and Newcastle on the Monday, Oxford and London on the Tuesday, Exeter and Birmingham on the Wednesday, Glasgow again on the Thursday and Norwich on the Friday."[19] The registration of the plane has since been removed from the CAA database.

INTO Giving edit

Since 2008, INTO Giving has raised more than US$1.6 million for children's education and humanitarian causes in Asia, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe. Funds are raised through INTO student, faculty and employee fundraising events and donations, and between 2015 and 2019 were matched penny for penny by INTO Founder and INTO Giving Trustee Andrew Colin.

INTO Giving has helped thousands of children and their teachers through 50 projects in 26 countries across five continents. The charity's projects have included building new and refurbishing rundown schools (India, Cambodia, China, Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, and in Lebanon for Syrian refugee children), psychological counselling services for Syrian refugee children, opening IT centres and libraries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Zambia), providing school meals and classroom supplies (Thailand) and refurbishing teacher accommodation (Ghana).

Since 2016, INTO Giving has prioritized supporting girls' education and refugee schoolchildren.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, INTO Giving donated $40,000 (£30,000 GBP) to coronavirus research and relief worldwide. In 2020 and 2021 the charity made strategic grants totaling $50,000 (approx £40,000 UK) toward civil rights and anti-discrimination organizations in the UK and US. INTO Giving is UK registered charity no 1126262 and a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity in the US. It is governed by a board of trustees.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Cook, Chris (2013-01-15). "Into University Partnerships does share placing". Financial Times. Retrieved 2021-02-08.
  2. ^ Written evidence submitted by INTO University Partnerships (SV27) Home Affairs Select Committee – Additional Written Evidence, Student visas, 15 March 2011, accessed 5 September 2011
  3. ^ "NAFSA research on landscape of third-party pathway partnerships in the US". DrEducation. Archived from the original on May 27, 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  4. ^ Harrington, Ben (2018-05-06). "Education tycoon Andrew Colin lines up £300m payday from sale of his company INTO University Partnerships". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  5. ^ 90% of Essex University staff oppose privatisation plan press release University and College Union 20 June 2008, accessed 5 September 2011
  6. ^ "UCU: 90% of Essex University staff oppose privatisation plan". 20 Jun 2008. Archived from the original on Dec 1, 2008.
  7. ^ "Hands off Icels!". Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2009. At a special staff meeting this morning, the Vice Chancellor announced that INTO's business plan had not been accepted by the university and that the joint venture would not be proceeding. We feel that this is in large measure due to the 100% opposition from ICELS staff and the joint campaign by UCU and UNISON and is a victory for solidarity.
  8. ^ Andalo, Debbie (30 March 2007). "University drops English privatisation plans". The Guardian. London.
  9. ^ "Hive-off row" Times Higher Education Supplement 9 Feb 2007
  10. ^ English Language Gazette "Profiteer or prophet?" interview by Melanie Butler, August 2007, available from the media page.
  11. ^ a b "Into founder says his private capital supports public work." "Times Higher Education Supplement" 1 May 2008
  12. ^ Lipsett, Anthea (30 July 2008). "Language trainer Into threatens to sue university union". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  13. ^ Lewin, Tamar (8 August 2008). "College and Company Link Up to Lure Foreigners". The New York Times.
  14. ^ "Oregon State University and a British company court international students – and controversy". 2008-08-12. Archived from the original on Jul 3, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  15. ^ Lipsett, Anthea (30 July 2008). "Language trainer Into threatens to sue university union". The Guardian. London.
  16. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (pt 0041)". United Kingdom Parliament. 5 Mar 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2015. Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when the last accounts were (a) due from and (b) filed at Companies House by INTO University Partnerships Limited and its subsidiaries. [190859]
  17. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers (pt 0053)". United Kingdom Parliament. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2015. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether he has had discussions with the University of Essex on proposals by that university to enter into a public-private partnership with the private education company INTO; and if he will make a statement. [215442] Bill Rammell: We welcome the principle of partnerships between higher education institutions and both public and private sector education providers which can lead the innovative delivery of high quality services. However, we would not expect to discuss individual projects with institutions and we have had no discussions with Essex or any other university in relation to private education companies.
  18. ^ "GINFO Database Search | Aircraft Register | Operations and Safety". Retrieved 2015-07-02.
  19. ^ a b General Aviation August 2007, p21. "PC-12s gang up at Goodwood"

External links edit