Study Group International
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Study Group International (SGI) is a global company that prepares international students for university degree programmes, teaches high school education, and teaches English language courses. Study Group owns and operates colleges and also partners with more than 50 universities across the UK, Europe, North America and Australasia. In 2014, Study Group enrolled more than 63,000 students from 170 countries.
The company's trading names include Embassy (formerly named Embassy CES), Bellerbys College in the UK and Martin College in Australia. Study Group also operates International Study Centres within UK, European, US, Canadian and Australian universities. It has offices in London and Brighton, England, New York City, USA and Sydney, Australia and also operates in Canada and New Zealand, China and Singapore.
The company dates the origin of Study Group from the Embassy language school in Hastings, England, acquired by businessmen Andrew Colin and Duncan Greenland in 1989. A second language school was opened in Hove shortly after. Colin had previously acquired Bellerbys College, a sixth-form college for international students, and in 1994 the company British Study Group was formed incorporating the two businesses.
In 1996, 40% of the business was acquired by the Daily Mail Group, becoming Study Group International and expanding into the US and Australia. Later, in 1999, the Daily Mail Group became the 100% owner of Study Group, paying an estimated UK£44 million.
As well as expanding the UK and Australian operations, Study Group acquired the Center for English Studies (CES) chain of language schools in the USA and Canada, adding Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver to their fold. Embassy became Embassy CES, and then Embassy English.
On July 1, 2010, Providence Equity Partners took ownership of Study Group for $660 million Australian dollars.
Study Group Australia partnered with SpotJobs, an online employment website, in 2013 to deliver education and training to qualified users.
International Study Centres
In the United Kingdom, Study Group has entered into agreements with a number of universities, whereby students are taught at an "International Study Centre" by Study Group staff on the university's premises. These "foundation" courses are designed to prepare students for a regular undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses. The company website lists such arrangements at the following 'host' universities: Heriot-Watt (Edinburgh), Keele, Kingston, Huddersfield, Lancaster, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool John Moores, Strathclyde (Glasgow), Surrey, and the Sussex. The group has also had centres at University of Wales, Newport and the University of Stirling which have closed.
Under these arrangements, the Study Group programmes are validated by the host university and are marketed alongside the host university's own degree courses. On each university's website, information about Study Group courses are contained on Study Group web pages (such as this example from Kingston) with the identical appearance to the university's own Web pages.
Brighton-based Study Group established one of the first of these arrangements at the nearby University of Sussex. These partnerships are attractive to UK universities as they provide a way of increasing numbers of overseas students, whose fee income is important. Equally, they attract criticism on the basis that students do not expect a British university course to be provided by a commercial company, that the course quality is not accredited within the university system, and that staff transferred to Study Group employment may lose the pay and pension benefits associated with university employment.
Study Group has made the same arrangements with a number of United States universities, which have received similar comments. The company website lists such arrangements at the following universities: JMU, LIU Post, Roosevelt, UMaine, Vermont, Widener.
Embassy English has 18 year-round schools in:
- USA: New York, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco
- UK: London, Brighton, Cambridge, Greenwich, Hastings, Oxford
- Australia: Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne
- New Zealand: Auckland
- Canada: Toronto
Number of students who study with Embassy English per year: Approximately 36,000
Embassy English opened its first purpose-built school designed by Watkins Grey Associates LLP on a site in Greenwich/Deptford, London, sharing premises with sister company Bellerbys College. Residential accommodation was also built in partnership with the University of Greenwich
In addition to the 18 year-round schools, Embassy English operate summer schools at over 30 locations across the UK and North America as "Embassy Summer". The Embassy Summer school programme operates at the site of various university and college partners, in addition to several of the year-round Embassy centres.
A range of activities are offered under the Embassy Summer Plus and Embassy Summer Academy brands, with English language tuition being taught alongside a range of "summer courses" such as horse-riding.
Bellerbys College is the name of four sixth form colleges for international students in the UK aimed at preparing students for university education.
The colleges are located together with Study Group's Embassy schools in:
- Brighton ,
- Cambridge, where there are two campuses, Queens Campus and Manor Campus ,
- Greenwich (London) and
- Oxford .
Established in 1920, Taylors College is a leading university preparation college providing University Foundation, Diploma and Australian High School programs (Year 10 - Year 12) in Australia and New Zealand.
The University Foundation programs are dedicated pathways to some of the most prestigious universities in Australia and New Zealand, including The University of Sydney, The University of Western Australia, Massey University, The University of Auckland and AUT University.
The Diploma of Commerce program gives students opportunity to enter a range of Degree programs from the second year at the The University of Western Australia.
Charles Sturt University (CSU) Study Centres (Australia)
Charles Sturt University (CSU) is a progressive and award-winning university and has a well-earned international reputation for excellence through its innovative approach to higher education.
The CSU Study Centres are operated in conjunction with Study Group Australia, offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Accounting, Business and Information Technology. It has two campuses located in the city centres of Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.
According to the Embassy English website, several 'celebrities' have studied at various Embassy schools:
- Ruby Lin Taiwanese actress and singer. Studied English at Embassy New York, with side-classes in acting at the New York Film Academy in 2004, and wrote a book (My Private New York) about the experience.
- Isabel Bawlitza Miss World Chile 2000 and a semifinalist in Miss World 2000.
- Katrin Meissner Former freestyle swimmer from East Germany, who won three medals at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
- Manuela Fellner Swiss folk singer and winner of the music contest TV programme Grand Prix on SF DRS.
- Riyo Mori Japanese dance instructor who won the Miss Universe 2007 title in May 2007. She studied at Embassy in New York.
- "Global Locations". Study Group. Retrieved 2009-11-26.
- Daily Mail Group Press release Preliminary unaudited consolidated results from Thursday 10 December 1998; mentions Study Group becoming a subsidiary.
- Another Daily Mail Group press release Preliminary unaudited consolidated results from Thursday 11 December 1997; mentions expansion into US and Australia.
- Special Report: The Evolution of ELC from Language Travel Magazine. See paragraph headed 'Study Group' for details of acquisition strategy.
- Language Travel Magazine Special Report: Industry Entrepreneurs, June 2007, paragraph titled 'Alternative angles and corporate investment'
- Champ website - portfolio page
- Press release from international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, advisors on the sale.
- Embassy website Brighton location Embassy Brighton
- Study Group.com corporate website New Brighton Study Centre Ahead of Schedule.
- New England Quarter official site Short description of the Quarter's commercial uses.
- Language Travel Magazine New Buildings for British ELT
- "International Study saga continues" (PDF). The Badger (University of Sussex). January 9, 2006. p. 3.
- "Privatisation at Keele" (PDF). Keele: University and College Union. March 2009.
- "International students and pathway provision: The case against the private sector" (PDF). University and College Union. October 2009.
- Karin Fischer (September 5, 2008). "Problem: Foreign Students. Solution: Corporate Partner.". Chronicle of Higher Education. (registration required (. )) Full article available at 
- Embassy English site: Schools
- In 2004. Special Report the Evolution of ELC from Language Travel Magazine - see paragraph titled 'Study Group'.
- Watkins Grey Associates website Overview of build project, with photos.
- PDF from UK Construction Magazine (hosted on Studygroup corporate site) describing the building's features.
- Press release from the builders, Jarvis PLC Greenwich development will deliver new student digs 11 February 2003.
- Embassy Summer website
- Embassy Summer Plus page
- Embassy Academy website
- Embassy Academy Horse riding page
- Ruby Lin fan website
- YesAsia bookshop My Private New York by Ruby Lin
- Manuela Fellner official site