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
TypePrivate, for-profit
IndustryEducation
Founded2005
FounderAndrew Colin
Headquarters
WebsiteINTO University Partnerships

History and Ownership


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 Andrew Colin was seeking a buyer for his INTO University Partnerships. Looking to sell INTO for US$400.1 million, Colin hired Deutche Bank to look at strategic options after receiving a number of takeover approaches.[4]

Issues with UCU and other universities


Several British universities approached by INTO decided not to proceed after consulting with their staff. After a survey of staff at 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 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 (PFI).[10]

Andrew 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, 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


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

Andrew 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.[17]

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.[18]

INTO Air controversy


According to the Civil Aviation Authority's database on registered civil aircraft, a subsidiary, INTO Air, featured a Swiss-built Pilatus PC-12 aircraft with the registration G-INTO.[19] An article in General Aviation magazine quoted the cost of these aircraft as starting at $4m and stated that Andrew Colin ordered a second aircraft for delivery in 2010.[20]

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.”[20] The registration of the plane has since been removed from the CAA database.

See also


References


  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". www.dreducation.com. 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. Archived December 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. "Hands off Icels!". Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved October 6, 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  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. "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. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  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". OregonLive.com. 2008-08-12. Retrieved 2015-07-02. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. Lipsett, Anthea (30 July 2008). "Language trainer Into threatens to sue university union". The Guardian. London.
  16. "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 05 Mar 2008 (pt 0041)". Retrieved 19 June 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. Times Higher Education "Into founder says his private capital supports public work"
  18. "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 07 July 2008 (pt 0053)". Retrieved 19 June 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. "GINFO Database Search | Aircraft Register | Operations and Safety". Caa.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-07-02. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. General Aviation August 2007, p21. "PC-12s gang up at Goodwood"