Pearson and INITE to launch online university in Mexico

Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, and Mexican curriculum and technology experts INITE today announce plans to launch UTEL, a new online university for Mexicans to enrol in higher education programmes, and Scala to enable traditional Universities to enter into the online world.

UTEL, the first university of its kind in Latin America, will offer Mexicans who wish to study beyond high school level exciting new ways to access BA, MA and PhD degree courses in management, IT, marketing, industrial and computer engineering, accountancy and other professions critical to Mexico’s economic development.

The new company will create value for its students and institutions in three different ways:

  1. Own brand: UTEL is an innovative 100% online degree granting institution for those needing to combine study with work. This option may appeal to those with unfinished college study or who are looking for a second career.
  2. Co-branded programmes: Combined online and campus-based classes will offer part-time higher education to students who want a stronger connection to an institution or a traditional brand.
  3. “Turn-key” solutions for existing higher education institutions, where Scala will operate third parties’ online programmes.

Mexico is the second-largest economy in Latin America, with a population of over 110 million. However there are still significant educational challenges. UNESCO estimates Mexico’s gross college enrolment rate at just 28%, compared to the Latin America average of 37%. This is significantly behind countries like Argentina (73%) and Panama (60%).

The joint venture builds on other Pearson businesses in higher education and direct delivery teaching, including:

  • CTI, a South African university serving more than 9,000 students, awarding degrees and diplomas to full-time and part-time students in subjects such as business, information technology, law, psychology and counselling, graphic design and creative arts.
  • Wall Street English, Pearson's global group of language schools teaching professionals how to speak English using a blend of classroom teaching and online learning. WSE currently has nearly 200,000 students in 27 countries.
  • Pearson Learning Studio, an online learning platform, and other online support to universities including Arizona State in the US, University of New England in Australia, and University of Sunderland in the UK.

John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson’s international education business, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to meet the growing demand for high-quality, affordable and relevant college education in Mexico and across Spanish speaking Latin America. We are delighted to be working with INITE, a highly experienced and well-respected company, and we’ll be bringing all of Pearson’s worldwide assets and expertise in Higher Education to our partnership.”

David Stofenmacher, CEO of Scala & UTEL, said: “Pearson and INITE collectively have deep and complementary experience in educational resources, assessment and support. Together we can make a real impact, using technology to improve educational outcomes for tens of thousands of Mexicans of all ages in years to come.”

For more information

Luke Swanson / Simon Mays-Smith / Charles Goldsmith: +44 (0)20 7010 2310

Notes to editors

About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with more than 150 years of experience married with the very latest expertise in technology. Pearson’s educational resources, technology and assessment services support learning in more than 75 countries and over 100 languages. www.pearson.com.

About INITE

Instituto Internacional de Investigación de Tecnología Educativa (INITE) is owned by Grupo Guerra. INITE specializes in providing services such as syllabus design, educational technology, assessment and faculty training to universities, retention consultancy, government entities, and companies. Guerra is the founder of many of the leading private universities in Mexico. For more information on INITE see www.inite.edu.mx.

For UTEL check www.utel.edu.mx