SEEK Australia Selling IDP IELTS Stake?
‘IDP says ‘no drama’ in SEEK uncertainty. INTERNATIONAL student recruiter IDP has played down the impact of online jobs giant SEEK potentially selling out of the business as part of plans to float on the share market next year.
The critical issue was that IDP’s other 50 per cent shareholder and key customer, the Education Australia consortium of universities, has said it remains committed to the business, IDP chief executive Andrew Thompson said. “The university relationship is essential and has been critical,” he said….
…A full sale by SEEK would be in line with its recent move to focus on its jobs and online education businesses. Earlier this month it sold its remaining 80 per cent stake in tertiary education company Think Education to US-based giant Laureate in a $104 million deal. SEEK stock analyst Digby Gilmour at brokers Patersons Securities said IDP wasn’t a core asset for SEEK and he believes a full sale would make sense….
…Since then it has become commercially focused under the influence of SEEK, which bought into the operation in 2006. IDP’s single biggest source of revenue is from administering the IELTS English language test, which it part-owns, and is aimed at international students seeking to gain entry into English language universities globally…..
….Mr Thompson said the numbers of students so far placed by IDP at universities outside Australia in the new markets remains small, but he said the pipeline was growing. “The disciplines are in place, the systems are in place and the teams are in place to help students and we now have a reasonable pipeline of students building for those destinations,” he said.’
Indication of how competitive international education is, student enrolment macro data tends to be exaggerated (or using recent base to show increases), trend toward shorter periods of study, all universities now use independent agents and IELTS test has lost its monopoly position for student visas and immigration. In addition to the fact that IDP has historically seemed to have operational, business and stakeholder issues requiring capital injections from university partners… and complaints of neglecting private and TAFE providers in favour of universities.