ACU makes strategic investment in OpenLearning

As part of its strong commitment to 21st century teaching practice and the digital transformation of learning, ACU will become the first Australian university to invest in the higher education online learning platform OpenLearning Limited.

OpenLearning is a software as a service company that provides a next-generation online learning platform for education providers to design and deliver high-quality courses. These prepare learners for the future of work by taking a research-based and student-centred learning approach.

ACU has committed to purchase 5,000,000 shares at the initial public offering (IPO) issue price of $0.20 per share, for a total investment of $1 million.

The investment represents ACU’s first strategic investment in an initial public offering (IPO) and its first direct investment in a technology company for many years, according to Chief Financial Officer Scott Jenkins.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Innovation) Professor Zlatko Skrbis said the investment was a strategic one that perfectly aligns with the university’s innovation agenda.

“We are exploring a range of further investment opportunities that have a positive impact on our staff, students, partners and communities.

“I am excited to support OpenLearning, a company which shares ACU’s commitment to the pursuit of knowledge by creating opportunity and fostering innovation and ethics to bring a unique perspective to higher education.”

Founded in Sydney in 2012, OpenLearning has become one of the world’s largest online education platforms with 1.65m learners, 7,953 courses and 55 education providers, primarily in Australia and Southeast Asia. OpenLearning extends existing educational theory to the design of its learning platform and provides a launch pad for new academic research.

Executive Director and Group CEO Adam Brimo said: “We are very proud to have secured this cornerstone investment from ACU, a university renowned for the quality of its learning and teaching. In Australia, it is rare for universities to invest in technology companies so this investment is a testament to the real and positive impact that OpenLearning is having on learners, higher education providers and the Australian education technology sector.

“We are thankful for the support and trust that all of our investors have placed in OpenLearning and our team is passionate about providing a platform and business in line with our values. We look forward to developing our partnership with ACU and supporting their strategic priorities.”

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