Laureate Education

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Laureate Education, Inc. is a private company that is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. The company works in the education industry. The company was formerly known as Sylvan Learning Systems Inc, before the company shifted focus towards post-secondary education and its K-12 business was sold to become Sylvan Learning.


The company was founded by Douglas L. Becker. The company was originally created by Sylvan Learning Systems in 1998 as an operational division to focus on post-secondary institutions and called Sylvan International Universities. When the division was created, Sylvan was a public company primarily focused on educational services for students in primary and secondary education through company owned and franchise locations.[1]

The company’s first investment was Spain’s Universidad Europea de Madrid in 1999, quickly followed by investments in post-secondary institutions in Mexico's Universidad del Valle de México, Chile's Universidad de las Américas and Switzerland's Les Roches International School of Hotel Management and its first investment in online higher education, Walden University in the United States.[2]

In March 2003, Sylvan Learning Systems decided to focus exclusively on post-secondary education.[3] The company sold the K-12 business units, as well as the Sylvan name and trademark, to a new company, Educate, Inc., formed by Apollo Management. In 2004, Sylvan changed its name to Laureate Education, Inc, to reflect the change in focus.[4]

In 2007, the company was acquired by an investor group led by Douglas Becker.[5]

In January 2013, the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, made a $150 million equity investment in Laureate to expand access to quality higher education in emerging markets.[6][7]

Coursera, a provider of massive online open courses, announced in July 2013 that it raised $43 million in investments from a group that included Laureate Education, Inc., the World Bank’s investment arm, LearnCapital Venture Partners, GSV Capital and venture capitalist Yuri Milner. [8]

Arizona-based Thunderbird School of Global Management announced a partnership with Laureate in March 2013 to set up a joint venture that will provide capital support to Thunderbird to open multiple international instruction sites and expand its executive education and online programs.[9]

In December 2013, Laureate announced that its shareholders elected three independent directors: Robert B. Zoellick, former World Bank president;[10] Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation;[11] and George Muñoz, principal of the Muñoz Investment Banking Group.[12]

Institutions and Operations[edit]

See Laureate International Universities


  1. ^ Honan, William H. (20 January 1999). "Sylvan Plans Overseas College Network". The New York Times. 
  2. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Walsh, Mark (19 March 2003). "Sylvan Learning, Changing Focus, Sells K-12 Sector". Education Week. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Sylvan Learning Renamed". New York Times. 18 May 2004. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Management Group to Take Laureate Education Private". The New York Times. 29 January 2007. 
  6. ^ Redden, Elizabeth (2014-03-03). "World Bank affiliate invests $150 million in for-profit college provider". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  7. ^ Kilar, Steve (2013-01-23). "World Bank invests in Baltimore-based Laureate Education". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  8. ^ Melissa Korn (2013-07-10). "Online Education Startup Coursera Raises $43 Million - Digits". Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  9. ^
  10. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)

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