Regent’s College London, the country’s largest private and not-for-profit higher education institution is acquiring American InterContinental University London (AIUL). AIUL will be integrated into Regent's College and become part of its charitable operation.
AIUL is currently owned by Career Education Corporation, which is based in the United States. The acquisition was cleared by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC) in the United States during its board meeting on 22nd February and the parties expect to complete by 1 April.
A teach out agreement, approved by the HLC is being implemented. AIUL students due to graduate before June 2014 will be able to complete their current courses. All other students currently at AIUL who expect to graduate after June 2014 will be given the opportunity to transfer to a Regent's College programme. AIUL will eventually cease to exist as a separate entity and become fully integrated into Regent's College London. Teaching will take place on both campuses and new facilities will be installed to enhance the student experience. AIU will continue to operate campuses in the United States, as well as its Virtual Campus online.
Regent's College, with its campus in the heart of Regent's Park in central London, has 4,000 students from more than 130 countries. The acquisition will enable Regent's College to offer an even broader range of programmes. AIU London’s fashion department will become the new School of Fashion and Design sitting within the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences of Regent’s College. Regent’s already offers a range of American degrees and this acquisition means that it will become the largest campus-based provider of American degrees in Europe.
The acquisition is part of an ambitious strategy set out by the Principal of Regent’s College, Professor Aldwyn Cooper that will see the college becoming the leading private non-profit University in Europe.
As a result of the acquisition of the nearby AIU London campus, the college will have extra teaching space, can transfer back-office staff to new offices and further improve the learning and social facilities on the Regent's Park campus. Work is now about to start on developing a new study suite. Despite taking on more students, Regent's College remains committed to a genuine student staff ratio of less than fifteen to one, with personal tutorial support and an average of more than 20 contact hours per week.
Professor Aldwyn Cooper, Principal, Regent's College London, said:
“This is an exciting development for the college. It will enable us to continue to develop our first class learning experience for all by providing more space and better facilities within our central London location.
“We will be in a position to offer a broader range of programmes – starting with a new school of Fashion and Design.
“What makes this acquisition particularly special is that we are essentially turning a for-profit institution into a not-for-profit operation as an integrated part of Regent's College.
“While announcements like this can be unsettling for staff and students, we are in the process of talking to them about the detailed integration plans and will do all we can to ensure that the final stages of this major acquisition run smoothly. I am confident current students at AIU London who choose to join Regent’s College will find their academic experience most rewarding.”