Hibernia College sells UK e-learning subsidiary

Funds from sale will go back into developing private college in Ireland, says president


Irish online third-level institution Hibernia College has sold its UK subsidiary to one of the world’s biggest education brands.

TES Global, which owns trade publications TES (Times Educational Supplement) and THE (Times Higher Education), announced the acquisition of Hibernia College UK (HCUK)on Wednesday.

Confirming the deal, Hibernia College president Dr Sean Rowland said the funds from the sale would go back into its teacher training and other course offerings in Ireland.

He said part of the deal was that the terms remained confidential but “it’s education - so it’s not like Bill Gates [TERRITORY]with loads of zeros”.

The UK subsidiary was established four years ago and developed a “straight to teaching” programme approved by UK’s education regulators, which trained unqualified teachers or graduates already working in schools up to the qualified teacher standard.

“The fact that we are the only online one in the UK meant we could reach graduates right across England,” said Dr Rowland.

TES Global said it planned to use HCUK as a platform for expanding its digital education business at a time when UK schools were facing a recruitment shortages across a number of subjects.

The sale has no effect on existing Hibernia College students, and Dr Rowland said the Irish college was planning to further expand in the coming years through offerings in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers.