Saturday, June 29, 2019

Laureate Education: Here For Good?

Related link: Vultures Coming After Laureate (2016)
Related link: Laureate Education Turned Against Democracy in Turkey and Latin America (2016)
Related link: Department of Justice Gives Green Light to Laureate Education to Continue Corruption (2018)

Baltimore-based Laureate Education Inc. (LAUR) is fighting for survival. The international for-profit system of colleges is no longer backed by the Clinton Foundation. Its founder Doug Becker was ousted in 2018 with an enormous golden parachute. And its rich and powerful investors are getting more impatient. After corruption scandals in Chile, Turkey, Spain, and now Brazil and after four years of downsizing, Laureate's slogan, "Here For Good" must be posed as a question rather than a statement.

For a decade and a half, CEO Doug Becker went on a buying spree of colleges across the globe, with a boatload of famous people to pitch for them. But since 2015, Laureate has sold or shut down more than 30 schools, and it faces enormous headwinds in the countries where it continues to operate. 2018 and 2019 have been particularly difficult. This year, LAUR even threatened to sell its big US moneymaker, subprime Walden University.
Walden grants more doctorates to African Americans than Howard University, Jackson State, and Georgia State combined.
Brazil, Laureate's largest segment, is facing reducing revenues after student aid was cut. Brazil's President, Jair Bolsonaro, who is terrible for the country is a wild card at best for Laureate. In earlier years, someone in the company might have been able to bribe officials, but those days are probably gone.
Laureate cut corners in Brazil, though, by allegedly forging documents and hiring teachers for classes they weren't qualified for.
While Laureate has continued to pare down its $3.5B debt to just above $2B, most of its profits have come from selling off more than 30 schools. Here's a list of the schools it has sold, closed, or lost contracts with since 2015. More are likely to be sold off in 2019 and 2020. Laureate sold off Bilgi University, but forgot to mention the terrible details.
  1. Centro Universitário do Norte – UniNorte (Brazil) (sold 2019)
  2. Les Roches Jin Jiang International Hotel Management College (China) (sold 2016)
  3. Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University XJTLU (China) (Laureate's online program partnership with the university was discontinued in 2018. The degrees were awarded by University of Liverpool.)
  4. European University--EUC (Cyprus)
  5. Universidad de Las Americas--UDLA (Ecuador)
  6. École Centrale d’Electronique (France)
  7. École Supérieure du Commerce Extérieur (France)
  8. Institut Français de Gestion (France)
  9. BiTS--Business and Information Technology School (Germany)
  10. Pearl Academy (India) (in sale negotiations as of May 2019)
  11. University of Petroleum and Energy Studies--UPES (India) (in sale negotiations as of May 2019)
  12. Domus Academy (Italy)
  13. Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (Italy)
  14. Universidad del Desarrollo Profesional--UNIDEP (Mexico)
  15. Université Internationale de Casablanca (Morocco)
  16. University of Liverpool (Laureate's online program partnership with the university was discontinued in 2018. All degrees were awarded by University of Liverpool.)
  17. University of Roehampton (Laureate's online program partnership with the university was discontinued in 2018. All degrees were awarded by University of Roehampton.)
  18. Instituto Tecnologico del Norte (Peru)
  19. Universidade Europeia de Lisboa (Portugal) (sold 2018)
  20. Instituto Português de Administração de Marketing (Portugal) (sold 2018)
  21. Monash University (South Africa) (sold 2019)
  22. Universidad Europea de Madrid (Spain) (sold 2018)
  23. Glion Institute of Higher Education (Switzerland and UK)
  24. Universidad Europea de Valencia (Spain)
  25. Universidad Europea de Canarias (Spain)
  26. Bilgi University (Turkey) (sold 2019)
  27. National Hispanic University (US) (closed 2015)
  28. Santa Fe University of Art and Design (US) (closed 2018)
  29. Kendall College (US) (sold 2018)
  30. University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (US) (sold 2019)
  31. Stamford International University (Thailand) (sold 2019)
  32. Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (Jordan) (sold 2016)
  33. Al Kharj Female College of Excellence (Saudi Arabia)
  34. Higher Institute for Paper and Industrial Technologies--HIPIT (Saudi Arabia)
  35. Higher Institute for Power and Water Technologies--HIWPT (Saudi Arabia)
  36. Jeddah College of Excellence (Saudi Arabia)
  37. Mecca Female College of Excellence (Saudi Arabia)
  38. Riyadh Polytechnic Institute--RPI (Saudi Arabia)
  39. Riyadh Tourism & Hospitality College of Excellence (Saudi Arabia)
  40. Al Nammas Female College of Excellence (Saudi Arabia)

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