International Higher Education

PRESS RELEASE: IDP Education acquires Hotcourses Group

IDP Education acquires provider of some of the world’s largest and most popular education search websites

IDP Education has announced a purchase agreement with the Hotcourses Group, a world leader in digital student engagement and marketing.

The Hotcourses Group produces some of the world’s largest and most popular education search websites and unique online tools, to help future students make the right study choices and connect with universities and colleges around the world.

Its portfolio of reputable educational websites includes Whatuni, Postgraduate Search, The Complete University Guide, Hotcourses and Hotcourses Abroad.

More than 66 million annual visits and two million registered users access the Hotcourse Group’s database of 500,000 courses from 5,000-plus institutions in 48 countries – one of the largest global database of educational courses in the world.

Chief Executive Officer of IDP Education, Andrew Barkla, said the £30.1m purchase will accelerate IDP Education’s vision of building the world’s leading platform and connected community, to guide students along their journey to achieve learning and career aspirations.

“The combination of IDP Education and the Hotcourses Group will provide deeper and highly differentiated services offerings to clients through more relevant data insights, more qualified student leads and greater international reach,” Mr Barkla said.

“It provides a one-stop-shop for student marketing and recruitment across both digital and agent sales channels, while students will have greater access to a comprehensive network of education providers, with Hotcourses’ online tools and IDP Education’s network of 650 counsellors in more than 35 countries.”

Established more than 20 years ago as an educational print directory for learning opportunities in London, the Hotcourses Group now employs more than 300 employees with offices in the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and North America.

A board comprising senior executives from both entities and chaired by Mr Barkla will now oversee the Hotcourses Group, which will continue to be led by Chief Executive Officer, Simon Emmett. He will also join IDP Education’s Global Leadership Team, which reports to Mr Barkla.

“The Hotcourses Group and IDP Education are both longstanding members of the international education community, and this agreement brings together a world leader in education search technology and tools, with a world leader in student placement and preparation,” Mr Emmett said.

“Together we will now provide unparalleled support and guidance at every step of the student journey, from enquiry to enrolment.”

The Hotcourses Group will continue to operate as an independent entity and will work in collaboration with IDP Education to identify and harness natural synergies which will accelerate the successful strategies of both businesses.

There will be no change to how clients and customers interact with either IDP Education or the Hotcourses Group.

The sale of the Hotcourses Group is expected to be completed by the end of January 2017.


Statement from Hotcourses Group Chairman, Mike Elms 

Hotcourses Acquired by IDP Education

After founding Hotcourses just over 20 years ago, the company is now moving into new ownership under IDP Education, the world leader in providing international student placement services.

It has been an amazing 20 years. We started by publishing the World Study Guides and over time moved the business to becoming 100% digital, and today we believe we have the largest audience in the world of students searching for education opportunities – some 66 million visits per year across our websites. What has remained consistent throughout this journey, is our total commitment to providing the best advice and guidance to students seeking to make new educational choices. We believe education has the power to change lives, and Hotcourses plays an important role in guiding students to the right outcome.

We are also very proud of the Hotcourses Foundation. Set up just over ten years ago, the Hotcourses Primary School in Kenya provides education to 1,000 children every year, all of whom are orphans. In the last ten years we have invested over £1 million in supporting the education of thousands of children through our school. I am very pleased that under IDP we are going to continue the important work of the Foundation.

This is an exciting new chapter for Hotcourses. IDP is the leading company in international student placement with similar values to our own, and together I believe we will do great things to transform the student experience.

I’d like to thank our customers, many of whom we have worked with since we first began, partners and stakeholders and of course past and present members of the Hotcourses team throughout the world. I have been fortunate to work with an exceptional team, many of whom have been with the business for over 10 years. Finally, I am pleased to remain a Hotcourses Board member as we move into this new and exciting chapter under IDP ownership.

With best wishes,

Mike Elms


Notes for Editors

About IDP Education
IDP Education is a global leader in international student recruitment and a co-owner of IELTS, a leading English language proficiency test. Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, IDP Education is 50% owned by 38 Australian universities through Education Australia Limited, with the remaining 50% traded on the ASX. IDP Education employs more than 1,600 full time equivalent staff globally, has 93 student recruitment offices in 30 countries and over 400 IELTS test locations in over 50 countries. It also owns and operates 10 English language schools in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand

About Hotcourses Group
The Hotcourses Group was founded in 1996. The company provides the world’s largest web-based course and university/college search for domestic and international education and adult learning. Hotcourses Group web products and services are used by over 68 million students worldwide each year. The company employs over 300 people worldwide with offices in London, Sydney, Boston and Chennai.


For all media enquiries please contact
Arj Ganeshalingam
Porter Novelli
M: +61 421 690 204

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