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Ronnie Screwvala-led edtech, upGrad, will buy a 100% stake in Australia’s largest study abroad company, Global Study Partners, for $16 million, marking its first overseas acquisition, the edtech company said in a statement on Monday.  

upGrad will further invest $10 million in Global Study Partners for its future growth, the company said. 

upGrad said Global Study Partners’ acquisition will enhance its foray in the ‘study abroad’ segment, which the company claims to be one of the fastest-growing segments worldwide.

“We span the entire gamut of a learner's need from the age of 18-50 and in that. Study Abroad is a key growth initiative for us - not just out of India, which is one of the two largest markets, but also for our learners internationally," said Ronnie Screwvala, Chairperson, Co-founder, upGrad.  

Global Study Partners, founded in 2015, has a network of more than 600 institutions in western countries like Australia, the UK, Canada and the US. The company also has over 1,300 recruitment partners, which include education and migration agents, schools, test preparation centres, alumni associations, among others, said the statement. 

 “Global Study Partners' - institutions and recruitment partners - worldwide, will enjoy the benefits that the additional reach and capacity GSP can now deliver, and they can expect significant growth in quality student enrolments," said Elaine Starkey, Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Global Study Partners.  

Global Study Partners will be closing the current financial year with a gross merchandise value (GMV) of $10 million, and the GMV is expected to grow fourfold in 2022, the statement said. 

 “Global Study Partners coming into upGrad’s fold will be a needle mover for us to attain a head-start in being a global leader in this segment too," said Screwvala.

upGrad cited a Redseer report that said that the number of students from India opting for higher education overseas is increasing rapidly, and the growth has outpaced the domestic student growth by six times in the last three years. Approximately 770,000 students opted for overseas higher education in 2019, the company said, quoting the Redseer report.  

The company expects this growth to accelerate further, and sees the number of students opting for overseas higher education doubling to approximately 1.8 million by 2024. upGrad said eight million students would be spending as much as $85 billion in online overseas higher education, as online courses become more accessible amid the pandemic-led restrictions.

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