Chennai: It’s a unique partnership as Tamil Nadu-based The Indian Public School (TIPS), currently operating a chain of International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in India with a student base of over 5000 has acquired The South Hill Academy, Los Angeles, USA, for USD Ten million as a part of its strategy to create a truly global network of international schools.
In order to facilitate this strategic venture, TIPS has floated a 100% owned subsidiary in the US to own and operate TIPS South Hill Academy. Founded in 1957, South Hills Academy is one of the prestigious educational institutions in the US. It’s pursuit of academic excellence and well-rounded character education has shaped the lives of scores of students who are leading illustrious lives in their chosen profession. Some of their noteworthy alumni include global entrepreneurs, scientists, academicians, Hollywood producers, musicians, sports stars, media personalities, etc.
Commenting on its US acquisition Mr. Ashok Kumar, Chairman, TIPS avers, “Our mission is to nurture inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are engaged citizens of the World. We feel that it is not possible to provide a truly global exposure to the students unless you have a truly international presence. Partnering with foreign schools for student exchange programs or relying on virtual exchanges has its limitations and will not equal the real world interactions students can get through your own infrastructure. For instance, with our direct US presence, we can achieve seamless integration of delivery of courses. Students on our Indian campuses can opt for continuing their studies in the US for two or three months in an academic year to get US exposure, without losing continuity in education. We also run structured student and faculty exchange programs aimed at contextualizing the meaning and relevance of their knowledge accumulated on a global platform.”
Mr. Kumar added that the core academic program followed in TIPS is a global program in every sense of the word. The curriculum followed by TIPS students in India is identical to what students learn at TIPS South Hill Academy in US. Being a part of the international network, faculty members too get an opportunity to interact with their peers in other campuses, as they are involved in lesson planning, content creation and delivery of courses. This ensures any child in any country in any city in our school network is globally competitive.
Mr. Gilbert James, Executive Director, said that the parents of the US school see the takeover of their school by an international network from an emerging economy like India as a good opportunity for their children to gain valuable international exposure and understand global realities. India is recognized as a knowledge leader and is respected for its values and skills.
Mr. James added that currently TIPS has 10 campuses and plans on creating 20 more campuses in India and 10 campuses abroad in the next five years. Campuses in China, Malaysia, Qatar and select cities of India are in different stages of planning and execution. The capital outlay for a state-of-the-art TIPS campus averages around Rs.30 crore without including the cost of real estate. TIPS has projected an investment of Rs.300 crore for its expansion plans in the next 3 years to be funded through debt and equity.