iCollege reckons Afghanistan is the next big thing in education
Private educator iCollege is tapping a new market: Afghanistan.
But instead of bringing Afghani students to Australia, they’re sending them to India.
iCollege has signed on a consultant in Kabul to send students to its Delhi campus for professional development training.
iCollege exec Stuart Manifold told Stockhead they’d actually got into it after meeting the Afghan ambassador to Australia while setting up their India arm in Delhi with a college called Birla Sholka EduTech.
The ambassador was very interested in Australian qualifications, and introduced them to the partner they signed an MoU with, Pearl Horizon Consulting.
He says the plan is to for students from Afghanistan to travel to India for study, but they are yet to work out who will pay for the project.
The Afghani MoU is for teacher training so they can deliver iCollege programs in Afghanistan — and develop English language and skills courses.
iCollege (ASX:ICT) has set up a global arm called iStudy Australia which is intent on attracting Indian and Chinese students to Australia, as well as setting up local campus partners to provide in-country services and, ultimately, to funnel prospective students to Australia.
Mr Manifold says the idea is that the foreign hubs funnel students into iCollege’s Australian courses. Australian courses are more expensive than those in India.
iCollege has had a challenging 12 months, dealing with a lawsuit launched by the seller of a group of businesses it bought — and then a $4.9 million write-down.
The lawsuit was partly wrapped up in iCollege’s favour in February, although they’re still waiting on a final outcome, and it’s since embarked on an Asia strategy — taking advantage of Austrade forecasts that China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, Malaysia, Brazil and South Korea will be the biggest markets for Australian educators by 2025.
iCollege shares were flat on Tuesday at 7.5c, but despite some bumps in the last year they’ve risen just over 580 per cent.