Capella Education Company, a provider of online post-secondary education through its wholly owned subsidiary Capella University, Monday announced that it has acquired Resource Development International Ltd (RDI), an independent provider of United Kingdom (UK) university distance learning qualifications, for £9.3 million ($14.9 million).
Capella’s acquisition of RDI enhances the Company’s leadership through access to the fast-growing international higher education market, with a significant presence in the UK and Commonwealth countries.
Founded more than 20 years ago, RDI partners with a number of the top 100 universities in the UK to develop, validate and deliver UK higher education qualifications, predominantly through online courses. RDI had fiscal year 2010 revenue of £8.6 million.
Kevin Gilligan, chairman and chief executive officer of Capella Education Company, said RDI’s position in both the global and the underserved UK higher education market, combined with its focus on UK University programs, dedication to academic quality and strong cultural fit make RDI an ideal partner for Capella as the company further expands into the international market.
The investment offers the opportunity to serve the large and growing international learner population through RDI’s online platform and strong academic credentials. RDI has a respected and strong leadership team that will become part of the Capella team, said Gilligan.
Dr. Philip Hallam, chief executive officer of RDI, said Capella’s ability to deliver exceptional learner experiences and learning outcomes is consistent with RDI’s academic culture and focus on quality.
In addition, Capella’s strong marketing and learning technologies provide a significant opportunity to leverage its international presence and track record of successfully delivering UK higher education qualifications to students around the world, said Hallam.
As a result of years of investment in its academic infrastructure, RDI has applied to the British Government (Privy Council) for Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP). If awarded, TDAP will enable RDI to independently validate its own degrees going forward under the auspices of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), a Government body that reviews the standards and quality of all UK universities.
Gilligan said RDI is an extremely attractive business with significant opportunity for long-term growth. Achieving TDAP will further expand RDI’s opportunities to grow and serve learners pursing online UK qualifications, he stated.