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Multinational invests in New Zealand education

Media Release
For immediate release
15 February 2001

Multinational invests in New Zealand education

International language school organisation, Hawthorn English Language Centres, has invested in established Auckland language school Active English. The new Centre will be formally opened at 5.30 by The Hon Phil Goff, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, in a ceremony which will feature the Minister painting the eye of a Daruma Doll„oa fun and colourful Japanese tradition.
Hawthorn Auckland is the first overseas investment for MEI, the University of Melbourne¡¦s commercial arm, says group managing director, New Zealander David Lloyd.
¡§Auckland is the first of a planned international chain of 30 language centres. We will be focussing on teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP) to overseas students, most of whom will go on to study as full fee paying students at Auckland University and other local tertiary institutions.
¡§We also believe it is important for as many staff as possible to be Kiwis. New Zealand is internationally recognised as having top quality teachers. Students coming to New Zealand do so because of the reputation this country has academically, environmentally and culturally. The strategy is one of going global by acting local, and that will pay dividends for New Zealanders as well as the Australian parent company.¡¨
David Lloyd says MEI¡¦s investment in New Zealand will mean more full fee paying students in local tertiary institutions, more jobs for teachers, and the opportunity for New Zealanders to work in Hawthorn English Language Centres in other countries.
¡§New Zealanders are sought after as English as a Second Language (ESL) and EAP teachers because they are well trained, excellent workers, and are able to deal with a mix of cultures and customs and still get good learning outcomes.
¡§We believe that our involvement in the New Zealand market will help stimulate growth in both student numbers and the development of other language schools and training institutions. Already worth $198 million to the Auckland economy alone, we believe there is significant potential for growth in this sector.
¡§Hawthorn Auckland will also be branching out into other areas of its Melbourne parent¡¦s business competence, including international project management.¡¨
MEI has a turnover of about A$50 million per annum with interests primarily in intellectual property management, international project management, consultancy services and English language centres. In 1999 the organisation floated a successful dot com company, and has been using the funds to build other businesses. The acquisition of the Auckland language centre is one of these.

More information:
David Lloyd Niki McCartney
phone 0061-3-9810 3301 09-373 4489

Journalists, photographers and news crews are welcome to attend the launch event. The Hon Phil Goff will paint the eye of a Japanese Daruma Doll, and Hawthorn CEO Niki McCartney, MEI group manager David Lloyd and MEI chairman Geoff Rees will be available for interview.

The function is at Hawthorn English Language Centre, Level 4, 345 Queen Street, Auckland, at 5.30 pm Friday 16 February. Drinks and refreshments will be served. If you wish to attend, please indicate your interest to Niki McCartney, phone (09) 373 4489.

David Lloyd will be in Auckland at the Centre from mid-afternoon 15 February.

Media Background
15 February 2001

MEI and Hawthorn English Language Centres


Melbourne Enterprises International Ltd is the University of Melbourne¡¦s commercial arm. The company exists to develop markets for University products and services and to handle aspects of the University¡¦s operations, which are most appropriately run within a commercial environment. MEI has 220 staff worldwide and maintains offices in Hawthorn and Carlton in Melbourne as well as Tokyo, Taipei, Jakarta, Auckland and Edinburgh.

MEI has four core businesses:

Intellectual property management and the commercialisation of research, largely handled through UniSeed Pty Ltd, a seed-stage venture capital fund jointly owned with UniQuest, the commercial arm of the University of Queensland. This involves the early identification and capture of bench-level research activities and the provision of support and advice to render them into investible commercialisation propositions.

International Project Management, largely on contract to AusAID, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations and the World Bank. This involves the company in identification, tracking and bidding for aid management contracts. MEI¡¦s main areas of expertise are technical and vocational education, legal/governance review, and environmental impact work. Regionally the International Projects Division is largely Asia-Pacific focussed, with its largest involvements in Indonesia and Vietnam. During 2000, MEI managed 13 large aid projects around the Asia-Pacific region and maintained its position as one of Australia¡¦s largest providers of project management services to the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.

Consultancy Services, essentially involving the promotion and management of University of Melbourne academic staff as consultants and advisors to government and industry. This involves technical advice, expert witness and project consultancies, mostly within Australia.

Hawthorn English Language Centres. MEI¡¦s first language centre in Hawthorn, Melbourne, exists primarily to prepare international students for tertiary study at the University of Melbourne and elsewhere in Australia. The division now also runs centres in Ho Chi Minh City, Auckland and Edinburgh and will establish centres in Vancouver and Dublin in 2001. It is intended that ¡§Hawthorn¡¨ will become a high quality network of around 30 owned and franchised centres worldwide by 2004.

MEI New Zealand

MEI (New Zealand) Ltd is a New Zealand company owned by MEI in Australia. The CEO is Ms Niki McCartney, the previous owner of language school Active English. All staff bar one secondment from Australia (the Director of Studies) are New Zealanders.

MEI will branch out into the other areas of business competence in Australia, most importantly international project management. This will most likely occur in 2002.

Hawthorn Auckland

The first four branch centres are being established by acquisition of existing businesses, and the first one in MEI¡¦s business plan was Auckland. This involved an acquisition search resulting in the purchase of Auckland company, Active English, which already had a significant reputation as a small, high quality, student centred school.

The Hawthorn language schools outside Melbourne do not exist to recruit students for the University of Melbourne, rather to play an active role in the local tertiary recruitment market. The main product in Auckland is an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) programme co-branded for the University of Auckland. This aims to convert students to tertiary enrolment at the University and other tertiary institutions. MEI, through it¡¦s Hawthorn branded language centre, intends to become a significant contributor to the New Zealand drive to attract international full fee paying students.

Hawthorn English Language Centres in 2001

In 2001 the Hawthorn English Language Centres Division will continue its expansion with new schools in Vancouver and Dublin. By the end of 2001, the foundations for the intended global network will have been laid with six key schools (Melbourne, Auckland, Edinburgh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vancouver and Dublin) in place and integrated quality control and marketing systems implemented. Each school will also continue to pursue growth in its own traditional markets. In 2001, however, the emphasis will be on inter-school relations and development, including working across the network on curriculum development, quality assurance mechanisms, staff development and student services. In particular, this will involve:

„h Consolidation of management information systems, including student administration, financial management and market information
„h Developing consolidated educational program quality control mechanisms, including reporting, feedback and progress monitoring
„h Developing a database of teaching and learning resources to enable information and resources to be exchanged across the global network
„h Developing staffing and employment policies across the network which reflect local condition, but which provide consistency in employment relations across all Hawthorn schools, and facilitate the transfer of staff between centres
„h Encouraging student transfer between Hawthorn centres
„h Developing pilot programs as opportunities arise, in order to trial Hawthorn programs in new markets, to test new markets for English language training, or to assist in recruiting international students to study overseas at Hawthorn centres.

Global Marketing Division

The Global Marketing Division exists to support the Hawthorn English Language Centres with coherent marketing for all schools, and also to act in its own right as a service provider of marketing advice and support to key strategic clients, such as the University of Melbourne, the University of Auckland and Trinity College, Melbourne. While the Division¡¦s base is in Melbourne its responsibilities are global, and regional offices in Tokyo, Taipei, Jakarta and Budapest handle much of its work. An additional office in Shanghai is planned for 2001.

The Division also acts as coordinator of the marketing activities of the individual Hawthorn schools, providing the marketing staff of each with information and research support with the aim of ensuring that Hawthorn schools work consistently and productively with student recruitment sources and networks around the world. This is a key element in the quality assurance role of the Melbourne office.

More information:
David Lloyd Caleb Wright Niki McCartney
Group Managing Director GM Global Marketing CEO
MEI MEI Hawthorn Auckland
phone 0061-3-9810 3301 0061-3-9810 3274 09-373 4489

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