Northern hemisphere growth for Navitas despite UK dip

02 July, 2015

Global education provider Navitas has announced a six per cent increase in international student enrolments at its northern hemisphere University Program colleges in the second semester of 2015, despite declining numbers in the UK. Meanwhile, the Navitas Education Trust has unveiled two new funding initiatives.

Navitas northern hemisphere equivalent full-time student units (EFTSU), 2009-2015. Source - Navitas

The six per cent growth, compared with the same corresponding period in 2014, equated to 4,412 ‘equivalent full-time student units’, the company said.

However, the figures revealed diverging trends in the North American and UK markets. Enrolments at US colleges grew by 18 per cent and the Canadian campuses increased by 17 per cent.

Contrastingly, Navitas’ UK network of pathway colleges saw international student enrolments decrease by 13 per cent, compared with the same period last year.

Rod Jones, Group CEO of Navitas, blamed current UK visa policy settings for the declines. “The current student visa framework means that education providers in the UK cannot have more than 10 per cent of student visa applications rejected by the government on assessment. This has resulted in the implementation of risk management strategies to ensure Navitas colleges remain well below the threshold and has further contributed to the reduction in the enrolment growth rate,” said Jones.

He added that there was no indication of a change in policy from the government since the May election and said he believed growth would remain challenging for some time.

Navitas could also be affected by changes to the UK Secure English Language Test system, and is one of the ‘G5’ pathway providers that have been providing enrolment data and projections to help ease congestion in the new system.

“Navitas’ international strategy continues to reap benefits as weaker growth in the UK is offset by strong growth in the US and Canada. North America continues to be an appealing education destination, attracting strong interest from students and delivering high-quality academic outcomes, reinforcing our goal of enhancing success for international students and supporting the internationalisation objectives of our university partners,” said Jones.

Meanwhile, Navitas Education Trust (NET), the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm, has announced two new charitable projects.

The first supports the Room to Read initiative in endeavours to help rebuild Nepal’s education system following the earthquake in April. The grant will be used to fund the literacy training model for 150-to-200 teachers, the provision of learning materials needed for teacher training and necessary supplies for students to complete work.

The efforts will be focussed on the Nuwakot district, where more than 80 per cent of public schools collapsed. This will add to the more than AUS$100,000 (US$76,000) donated to relief funds, after Navitas matched money raised by staff and students.

“During natural disasters, those living in poverty are disproportionately affected, especially children. So right now, help is needed – first by providing critical emergency relief – and then through repairing and reviving their communities and lives,” said John Wood, Founder of Room to Read. “Never before has this investment for the children and teachers of Nepal been more important, we are both deeply inspired, and deeply grateful, for Navitas’ continued support.”

The second project has been developed with the Australian Business and Community Network  (ABCN) Scholarship Foundation, and will fund a single three-year scholarship in perpetuity to assist students from high-need, low socioeconomic areas.

Navitas Education Trust was featured in a special StudyTravel magazine cover story on corporate social responsibility within the international education industry last year.

Matthew Knott
News Editor


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