Oxford International Education Group was founded in 1991 as ISIS Education and Travel by David Brown and Robert
Darell. The company started operating outbound tours for UK University students through the academic year from September to June. During the summer, we established summer English languages courses for foreign students.
Today Oxford International still operates its Student Tours programme and has become one of only four companies to be accredited by the various Universities’ Purchasing Consortia. Every year, we carry over 12,000 students on these educational tours.
The UIC Study Programmes have grown steadily in size and popularity and we now run 14 centres welcoming over 10,000 foreign students every summer.
Unable to source any financial support from the banks, the founders turned to the Prince’s Trust. The Trust offered a £5,000 loan, as well as two mentors to help see the business through the first 18 months. Oxford International has grown to be one of the top 10 businesses sponsored by the Trust, and still remains closely associated with it today.
In 1993 the business relocated from Worthing to London when it bought the Greenwich School of English, an adult English language training centre. In 1997 moved to its current, larger, premises in central Greenwich.
In 1999, Oxford International bought a building in the centre of Brighton and opened the Brighton School of English, offering General English courses. In 2003, Oxford International bought Avatar Education Ltd., from its founder owner. The business offers high-quality summer courses to individual students, and trades under the name Bucksmore Summer Programmes.
In 2006, Oxford International bought Travel Experiences, a tour operating business offering study-oriented trips to secondary schools. It trades under the name of Studytrips. Since becoming part of Oxford International and under careful guidance of our team, our school tours programme has gone from strength to strength.
In 2009, we took over the well established and highly respected Key Stage Travel that specialises in history and battlefield tours. This has become part of the Studytrips programme as we seek to establish a collection of niche educational tour programmes. In February 2010, we were delighted to acquire the Oxford Tutorial College, based in the centre of Oxford next to Oriel College. Over the past 20 years, the college has built up a reputation for being the best tutorial college in Oxford and further developed its portfolio of pre-university courses with the launch of the Oxford Pathway Foundation Programme in September 2010.
Another key development in 2010 was the complete refurbishment of the Greenwich premises which involved a new Head Office on the Ground floor and a modern refit of our school in Greenwich. 18 months and £2m later, we are able to boast one of the best teaching facilities in London.
In 2011, we boosted our educational tour operator by acquiring Hellene Travel, who specialise in ancient history tours and we are really pleased that the expert founders, John and Sarah Thomason agreed to stay on and expand their portfolio from Greece to Rome and Turkey.
In October 2012, Oxford International acquired the Vancouver Maple Leaf College Inc. which owns and operates two excellent language schools in Canada. The schools are located in Vancouver and Toronto and currently operate under a franchise agreement with Eurocentres. We are really pleased that the two owners, Sharon Curl and Maki Yonenaga will stay on as Directors and with their guidance and expertise, we hope to expand by opening new schools in the USA.
In May 2013, we added our sixth permanent school to the portfolio by acquiring UIC London based on Mortimer St, off Regent St close to Oxford Circus. UIC has built up an enviable reputation for offering excellent courses all year round from its central London premises and its four international summer schools have always been very popular and successful. UIC Foreign Languages also operates from central London and is the largest independent college teaching over 10 foreign languages. Since becoming part of Oxford International, the school has been renamed UIC English London Central.
In November 2013, Oxford International were very proud to sign a Pathways partnership agreement with De Montfort University to open and run the Leicester International Pathway College in the heart of the fantastic De Montfort campus. Our first students arrived in June 2014.
In March 2014, we were proud to invite Bowmark Capital on board as a minority investor in Oxford International. Bowmark are very experienced investors in the education and travel sector and will help finance our continued growth strategy in the UK and overseas.
In April 2014, we acquired Homelingua Ltd which offers top quality English courses in the homes of qualified and experienced teachers. Homelingua runs as part of our Bucksmore programme who specialise in bespoke English language programmes.
In May 2014, the founders David Brown and Robert Darell were honoured to be invited to a reception at Kensington Palace to meet HRH Prince of Wales who was delighted to hear of the progress that Oxford International had made since his charity first helped them launch the company back in 1991.