Big strides into Latin America for global education benefits platform
What’s the primary objective of a corporation? In the US, corporations no longer function mainly to serve their shareholders and maximise profits.
Rather, the corporate America of today believes success is best derived from investing in employees, delivering value to customers, dealing ethically with suppliers and supporting outside communities.
A disrupted world of work has played a major role in influencing this sudden shift in corporate conscience.
This is why companies in America fork out something like US$20 billion each year on education benefits for their employees, wielding the benefit as a tool for better employee retention and satisfaction.
It’s also a great way to fill the skills gap in modern workforces; rather than embarking on a massive recruitment push, companies are finding greater value in upskilling current employees via online credentials, corporate scholarships and partnering with intermediaries to provide degree opportunities.
To capture the market, Arizona State University (ASU) and its private equity partner TPG’s Rise Fund launched InStride earlier this year. The public-benefit corporation functions as a conduit between employers and higher education institutions, offering opportunities to employees to access degree programmes provided by its university partners.
The firm’s main focus is on the 37 million people in America who attended college but never finished. According to estimates, these workers make up 20 percent of the current working-age population.
Given current labour market trends and the increasing demand for knowledge and high-skilled workers, it is imperative that these individuals upskill to avoid losing employment or being left behind.
InStride helps facilitate this.
After ASU, InStride’s first announced university partner was the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. It is early days yet but with more corporations jumping the education benefits bandwagon, there remains plenty of room for growth.
More recently, InStride marked another major milestone when it announced a new partner in Tecnológico de Monterrey, ranked the top private university in Mexico for five consecutive years by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
The partnership gives InStride a vital presence in the untapped market of Latin America, unlocking new growth opportunities for the firm workforce education benefits sector.
With Tecnológico de Monterrey on board, employers will be able to offer high-quality degree programmes in Spanish to their employees in the US and around the world.
According to Cervantes Institute report, more than 572 million people speak Spanish worldwide, of which 477 million people are native speakers.
“A partnership with InStride will allow us to expand the scope of our mission to reach United States-based and global Spanish-speaking learners and provide them with opportunities to grow and transform their lives,” said Tecnológico de Monterrey Rector David Garza.
Tecnológico de Monterrey’s online academic offerings include both graduate and continuing education programmes in fields such as digital transformation, cybersecurity, sustainability, entrepreneurship, project management, sales, leadership, management, quality and productivity, and educational innovation, among many others.
The institution is ranked 40 in the world, according to the World University’s Graduate Employability Rankings 2020, and 2nd in Latin America.
“At InStride, we recognise the importance of partnering with the world’s highest-quality universities in their respective geographic regions in order to serve our global corporate partners,” said InStride CEO Vivek Sharma.
“We welcome Rector Garza, and the faculty and staff of Tec de Monterrey to our InStride university network and look forward to working with them to offer career-boosting, life-changing opportunities for even more global learners, especially those whose choose to learn in Spanish.”