Below is a selection of the type of opportunities we have shared with clients over the past month or so, we have removed the names of the institutions, but if there are any which are of interest then please let me know and I can share further information.
Significant Opportunity to Acquire a Presence in the Baltic States
We have a very significant opportunity for a UK university to take a controlling interest in a highly successful and highly ranked private business school in Central and Eastern Europe (EU).
The School was established in 1999 by the Norwegian Business School (who are still a small shareholder), and since then it has become widely recognised as a regional leader (it is the most highly ranked in the country) and currently has around 1500 undergraduate students, 300 post graduate students, and 200 students studying an executive MBA. Much of the curriculum, and all the post graduate provision is taught in English. The school has a full university licence, and a range of other international accreditations, it has campuses in Vilnius Old Town with excellent facilities which is leased long term from the church. There is also access to sufficient high-quality student accommodation through existing partnerships with local providers.
The School is currently owned by a group of shareholders, the majority shareholder is a large state technical university, who as a result of changes within the higher education system in the market (reorganisation) is keen to divest itself of the school as it does not fit with the new strategic direction of the institution (however they would like to retain a shareholding, and would be keen to explore other areas of strategic partnership with a UK university that takes on the school).
The founding rector, who established the school, and then went on to run one of the region’s largest retailers, and is now chairman of a major local private education provider (schools, vocational, and recently higher education in partnership with a UK university), is with the knowledge and blessing of the majority shareholder looking to find a UK university who would be interested in working with him to acquire a significant shareholding in the school, and then developing the school , both in terms of business courses, but also in terms of subject areas.
We know this market well, we have had a base there for almost 20 years, so know all the organisations and people involved, and can vouch for the quality of the opportunity. This will give a UK university the chance to take on a successful and profitable school, in an EU market that is well positioned to take international students from the CIS and who’s government has a positive attitude towards international students, with a high quality faculty (both in terms of teaching and research) two good campuses with scope to grow, and a proven and skilled management team ready to support locally.
If you would be interested in finding out more about this opportunity, please let me know and I will arrange to come and meet with you to present in more detail and will also then be able to arrange initial video calls and visits with the relevant parties.
Franchise and Validation Opportunity Leading Regional Business School Croatia
XXXXX Business School is a leading regional business school, with campuses in Zagreb (Croatia) and Belgrade (Serbia). The Business School was founded in 2002, and has developed a range of MBA programmes, as well as offering an extensive Executive Education programme. The School is AMBA accredited and is looking for a quality UK university would be interested in franchising undergraduate business programmes, and also in validating their existing MBA provision.
If you would like further information, and to arrange a call with one of the founders of the school please let me know and we will arrange.
The University of XXXX TNE Opportunity
The University of XXXX was founded in 1970 and has 28,000 students. The university is split into 11 faculties and the University employs 1,700 staff. They are keen to grow the number of courses they teach in English and develop their recruitment across Europe and the globe. To do this they would be keen to identify a UK university who would be interested in developing dual degree programmes across a number of areas. They would look to start with programmes (mixture of UG and PG programmes) they are already delivering in English, and these include;
- Law and Administration
- Cultural Communications
- Physics and Medical Physics.
They would then also look to develop degrees in a range of areas. The university is very strong in three areas, Biotechnology (Research ranked A +), Aquaculture and Tourism. As well as TNE they are also keen to explore opportunities for Research Collaboration, especially in these areas. They are currently developing a dual degree in Heritage Tourism with the University of Kolkata.
XXXX Dual Degree Opportunity
We have a very interesting Dual Degree opportunity in Poland. XXX (the University of Social Science and Humanities) is the largest private university in Poland, with over 17,000 students. The university was founded in 1996 by three leading phycology academics, and has now grown to five campuses across Poland, and the university teaches across a number of subject areas including Psychology, Sociology, Business, Law and Languages. Many of their courses are taught in English, and they are keen to increase the number of international and European students, and as a result are keen to find a UK university they can partner with to launch a number of UG and PG Dual Degree programmes. As they have an international reputation for their Psychology courses they do not wish to focus on these, but would like to start in the following areas:
- English Studies
- Design and Architecture
As well as teaching the University has highly ranked research (A+ in Psychology).
Czech TNE Opportunity Architecture
XXXX (Architectural Institute in Prague) is a unique progressive new school of architecture combining the best learning approaches with second–to–none practical training. Situated in one of the Prague’s most trending districts, and residing in the same complex as widely acclaimed DOX Centre for Contemporary Art (dox.cz), XXXX offers a vibrant environment to grow professionally as well as a diverse community of students from over 35 countries.
XXXX as a full diploma school offers both professional undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MA) degrees in Architecture. Our students benefit from the free-spirited “family” atmosphere of the school and teacher to student ratio of less than 1:4. Even though most of our teachers are practicing architects themselves, more than 50% of teaching has the form of one-on-one tutorials (in case of MA education) and our studios, following the vertical studio principle, comprise of no more than 20 students.
We are gladly open to any form of international cooperation, be it a short-term collaboration on a workshop, a dual degree programme or a long-term exchange program.
Opportunity to establish a joint venture with established Bulgarian university on the development of a British “University Campus”
The Opportunity: We are aware of a potentially excellent opportunity for a UK university to develop an EU based campus in partnership with a leading private university, minimising the risk associated with this type of project.
To create a British campus in Bulgaria allowing a UK university to target EU students post BREXIT who would like to study in English for a UK Degree, as well as target international students, specifically from the CIS and Turkey where the partner already recruits strongly. The Partner also has significant research in a number of areas, and significant success in attracting EU money.
The local partner university is ready to create a joint venture, which will have all relevant local licences and permissions (including the ability to access research funding) and support the development of the campus.
The private university has three campuses in Bulgaria, including Sofia (Capital) and Varna (Major costal city) and has capacity it can make available on all three sites. It also has full degree awarding powers and offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in a number of areas including Business and Tourism.
The local partner is open for discussions around the type and structure of joint venture.
Why Bulgaria is a good place to base the campus.
The strength and experience of the local partner minimises risk.
There is existing facilities and student accommodation that can be used.
Local legislation allows for the campus to offer Dual Degree programmes with the local partner, or other Bulgarian university (depending on subject area), or simply offer the UK degree.
Bulgaria has a student loan system, allowing a Bulgarian (and EU student) to access a loan to cover the full cost of tuition.
There is a track record of local and international students paying a premium for an international degree (the American University charges $11,000 a year).
The cost of living in Bulgaria is low, and the weather, and quality of life in main cities is good, making it an attractive destination for international students.
The quality of education is good, and there is a good availability of high quality local faculty.
Bulgaria has a strong track record of attracting international students from the CIS markets and Turkey.
Czech Republic – Large scale franchise degree opportunity
We have an interesting opportunity from the Czech Republic, we have a well-established and highly ranked private university (mainly business subjects) with two campuses (Prague and Brno) looking to identify a UK university who would be interested in franchising both undergraduate and post graduate provision across a range of areas, which include Marketing, Media, Digital Media, Communication, Tourism, Psychology and Management in Healthcare.
A recent change in Czech legislation makes it straightforward for a University from the EU to form a partnership with a local University, and for that University to deliver franchised degree programmes from the EU partner (whilst not issuing a local degree). There is a current example of this with Prague College (https://www.praguecollege.cz/ ).
The partner believes there is a market locally for this provision, as well as an opportunity to target students from Pakistan and India (where they are already recruiting), and also believe there would be increased interest post BREXIT.
Strategic TNE Opportunity in Bulgaria
We are in discussions with one of the leading private universities in Bulgaria the university was founded in 1995 and has over 12,000 students. The university offers a wide range of courses (including double diplomas with the Norwegian Business School), which they deliver on a full time, part time or distance learning basis. The eight schools are based in three faculties
- International Economics and Administration
They deliver many courses in English and are looking to develop a strategic TNE relationship with a UK university which will look to build a portfolio of dual degree programmes across a range of areas including Business, International Relations, Computer Studies, Psychology, Architecture, Construction Engineering, Fashion, Fashion management and Fine Arts.
The university recruits well internationally from Turkey and the CIS, and post BREXIT could make a good place to target European students (the Bulgarian student finance regulations would suit this). There is also good quality research in a range of areas, and the university’s campus in the seaside town of Varna (Sunny Beach) makes this a good place for student life.
Lithuania Research Opportunity
We have an interesting research focused opportunity, it has been bought to us by XXXX (QS 551-600). VGTU is one of the leading technical universities and is looking to develop a research partnership with a UK university. This will be initiated with a bid to a new fund announced by the Lithuanian government
The university believes that this opportunity would suit a junior UK researcher looking to develop their career by developing and leading their own project and as such may be of interest to a UK university looking to support the career development of an academic. The funding is up to €1 million for a project lasting a maximum of 48months. The researcher will be responsible for building and leading an independent group of researchers (Lithuania and international) The research areas are flexible, but should focus on key Smart Specialisations priorities set by the Lithuanian government, these include;
- Energy and a sustainable environment.
- New production processes, materials and technologies.
- Transport, logistic and information and communication technologies.
- Fintech (Block-chain).
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
- Virtual and Augmented Reality.
The university see this projects as a first step towards creating a joint research centre with their UK partner in the agreed subject area, it is expected there will be a call over the next 12 months for financial support to create these joint research centres (from the Lithuanian government) this research centre will be able to continue to access EU research funding post BREXIT.
Niche TNE/Partnership opportunity with Film School – Czech Republic
We have an interesting opportunity with a specialist film school based in the Czech Republic.
XXXX is a private film school, which offers specialisations in Screenwriting and Directing, Cinematography, Sound, Editing, Production and Animation. Hands-on experience and team-work are both given a strong emphasis throughout the study programme. The programme aims to equip graduates with a high level of technical competence and craft skills as well as to develop their creative skills to the highest artistic level possible. The course includes ongoing practical exercises in each semester. Teachers are professional artists and active filmmakers with numerous prizes and awards (Miroslav Ondříček, patron of the school, was nominated for Oscars with Amadeus).
The school is small but is currently developing a new campus in Prague and wishes to expand and believes a partnership with a film school from a UK university would be an important part of their strategic plan to bring in new students. They are interested in offering dual degree provision at an Undergraduate and Post Graduate level. I think numbers will be small to begin with, and I think this would only suit a university who is keen to develop a wider partnership with the institution to cover the development of summer schools, student mobility and research. Please confirm if this is of interest and we can arrange an initial call.
Business TNE Opportunity Czech Republic
We have a small private university in the Czech Republic looking for a dual degree partner. The University was founded in 2004 and has around 1200 students split across two campuses, one in Prague and one in Brno. They have around 20% international students (they are seeing increasing numbers from India at the moment) and have been ranked as the best private university in the Czech Republic for the past five years. They take a practical approach to teaching, with all students needing to take a compulsory placement each year. The also mix academics and business people in the delivery of course, for example the President of the Czech National Bank currently delivers a course at the university.
They have a number of courses taught in English but would be interested in starting with an UG programme in Business Administration. They are looking to develop a strategic relationship with a UK university to launch a number of dual degree programmes over the coming years.
XXXXX Czech Republic
The University of Hradec Kralove is a general university based in the Czech Republic, the university has around 7,000 students, and offers studies in the following fields:
- Social Sciences
- Educational Studies
- Natural Sciences
They have a strong selection of courses taught in English at both UG, PG and PHD levels (35) and have had some experience of working with UK universities in research (e.g. St Andrews on Toxicology) and have had a double degree in the past with the University of Huddersfield (mobility model).
The university already has the highest percentage of international students of any Czech state university. They are keen to increase student numbers and believe a partnership with a UK university who would be able to offer dual degree programmes across a range of areas, and at a range of levels, and where there would also be scope for the development of joint research and student mobility would be key.
They believe the most promising initial areas for dual degree programmes are:
- Informatics and Management
- Political Science
University of XXXXX Czech Republic
We have been in discussions with the Technical University of XXXX (QS ranking 801-1000). The University is based in the Czech Republic, it is a state university, with around 18,000 students, of which 2,000 are international. The number of international students is growing, and the university is keen to develop the number of courses it delivers in English, and as part of that create a relationship with a UK university (or a small number of universities) that could offer partnership on dual degree programmes across a number of areas. The university already has a dual degree with Liverpool John Moores (MBA) so understands what the development of a TNE relationship looks like.
They initially want to focus on Master’s programmes (for non-EU international students, target numbers 30+ per course) but would also look at the development of undergraduate programmes for EU students. Current fees are between 4,000 and 5,000 euro a year for Masters. The areas they are interested in initially are:
- Applied Mechanics
- Telecommunications Technology
- Civil Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
There would then be scope to develop other areas.