Project Description

About the Client

Apsley is a private Business School, headquartered in London and attracting students from around the world. Apsley Business School delivers a wide range of accredited undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, lifelong learning courses and packages in Management, Law, Education, Healthcare and Engineering aimed at professionals in the workplace.

Their degree programmes are recognised on the EQF (the European Qualification Framework), and are accepted globally.

The Project

Apsley Business School was founded in 2012 and has since delivered undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes aimed at existing professionals. As such, the courses and training programmes have been carefully designed to meet the requirements of professionals in the workplace.

The organisation had seen great success in the UK market and sought the services of Strategic Discourse to assist in the delivery of an international expansion programme.

Our Approach

In order to ensure a successful expansion, Strategic Discourse produced a detailed strategy report. In line with best practice, the team, which was comprised of leading academics and industry specialists, utilised the most appropriate academic and business models to devise a thorough and reliable phased expansion plan.

This plan was reviewed and supported by Apsley Business School’s senior management team, ensuring close client.

As a direct result of successful service delivery in the education sector, Strategic Discourse have developed a number of strong relationships with international education providers. The team believed that a two-step scaled expansion strategy would be most appropriate in this instance. At Strategic Discourse, all programmes of delivery are tailored to the client and their specific needs, while ensuring the needs of the end user are met.

In the first phase, the team used their strong relationships to help facilitate a network arrangement with existing universities in Europe. Partnering with existing international education providers allowed Apsley to participate in student exchange programmes. As well as increasing their referenceability in Europe, relationships like these helped make Apsley’s business school in the UK a more enticing proposition for homegrown professionals looking to develop their skills/accreditations and have the opportunity to expand their horizons geographically. A number of students at the time owned their own SME’s and credited the international exchange programme with helping them to understand global markets and better positioning their product portfolio in line with this.

The exchange programme helped grow the reputation of Apsley without incurring the large sunk costs normally associated with international expansions.

After the success of the first phase, Strategic Discourse were retained to deliver the second phase. The team helped to establish Apsley as a small physical presence in a few locations across Europe, further supporting the organisation by delivering a number of introductory outreach marketing campaigns. This part of the phased approach helped target a wider international audience for Apsley Business School, without relying primarily on student exchange agreements to attract students in Europe. Roughly half of the students targeted moved to the UK to attend the Business School in person, while the other 50% were catered for with tailored online courses.

The Outcome

The strength of the overall campaigns have seen Apsley expand to six locations across Europe. Wider expansion is planned over the coming years, with more undergraduate and postgraduate schemes being delivered primarily face-to-face in Europe, with some supplementing online course delivery from the UK to remain as required.

Strategic Discourse have been fantastic in helping us to expand our organisation and deliver excellent educational outcomes to an international student base. Apsley already has a strong presence in the UK education sector and we wanted to ensure that our expansion was supported by an organisation with extremely high-quality delivery and a track record of client satisfaction well above the industry standard. The team have been a pleasure to work with and we will continue to utilise their expertise moving forward.

Prof. Sebastian Fuller, Academic Director

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