The Australian stock market has made instant millionaires of two educators, Peter Larsen and Rod Jones. They are the founders of IBT Education.
The business was solely based on fulfilling the need for the thousands of International students who were studying in Australia.
Mr Jones and Dr Larsen founded IBT in Perth in 1994 as a means of helping international students to get through university courses. They identified that many foreign students who were sound academically were failing because of their difficulties with English and a lack of educational and cultural support.
They designed a model to offer smaller classes with specialised help in English, IT and mathematics.
IBT has links with six Australian universities - Edith Cowan, Macquarie, Deakin, Griffith, Curtin, University of South Australia - and provides foundation and first-year equivalent courses to about 10,000 students in Australia. It also operates in Britain, Africa and Sri Lanka.IBT provides foundation and first year equivalent courses to about 10,000 students entering Australian universities and about 3000 students in Africa and Britain. The company charges students between $10,000 and $15,000 a year and is the first higher education float in Australia. Mr Jones, the managing director of IBT Education, stands to make a paper fortune of $60 million when the company lists at $1 a share.
IBT offers courses primarily in business, information technology and communication with a majority of students coming from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The company runs six colleges in Australia, two in Britain and two in Africa. It began in Perth at Edith Cowan University and is now also linked with Macquarie, Deakin, Griffith and Curtin universities and the University of South Australia.
Another reason to believe that International students are big business in Australia.