VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
CIBT Education Group Inc. (TSX: MBA, OCTQX International: MBAIF) (“CIBT Group”) is pleased to announce that it has signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop an education super center called Global Education City. The Global Education City ("GEC") will be located in the Greater Vancouver Regional District in an ideal location near a proposed Skytrain station, in proximity to the airport and major roads to downtown Vancouver. As the first education super center in North America, this education-real estate project has the capacity to house up to 600 international students in its hotel, while accommodating campus space for public and private educational institutions and office space for professional firms supporting international education. The concept is to create a single location for students, educators, and education service firms to do business in an education-centric environment.
In addition to the Global Education City, CIBT is in negotiations with several real estate developers to co-establish three other student hotels, student residence, and education micro-centers along major Sky Train stations in the Greater Vancouver area. Total estimated budget for these projects is approximately $350 million.
CIBT Group and its subsidiary schools will become the anchor tenant, co-investor and principal managing partner of these proposed projects. The hotel component of Global Education City is to house its 5,000+ international and domestic students enrolled by CIBT Group’s subsidiary schools each year as well as providing student accommodation to other schools in Vancouver. CIBT Group’s subsidiary schools, including Sprott Shaw College and Acsenda School of Management, and its Global Learning Network, are expected to utilize a percentage of the campus space. The remaining campus space will be made available to other public and private educational institutions wishing to expand their international student enrollment, as well as to education support firms.
With the signing of the memorandum of understanding, the parties are entering into the due diligence phase of the project. The planned GEC is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions including completion of the re-zoning application process and obtaining other relevant municipal approvals. Further details will become available upon execution of the definitive agreement.
The proposed Global Education City is a first of its kind in North America, employing the concept of Education Super Center by combining a number of multidiscipline public and private institutions at one centralized location, supplemented by professional support services and student Dormitory under one roof. The three major components of GEC will be to provide 1) a variety of schools 2) immigration consultants and professional services for the education industry, and 3) a student centric hotel for domestic and international students.
To support the theme of global education with a large number of tenants expected from the international market, a hotel is an integral part of the GEC. According to market statistics, rental rates for Vancouver condominiums have increased by over 14% in the past 5 years, and demand is expected to continue to grow as more international students are entering into Canada, encouraged and supported by the initiatives and policies of the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada. Based upon data from 2011, approximately 100,000 foreign students are living in the Greater Vancouver area contributing over $5 billion in tuition revenue to the B.C economy. In addition, total housing revenue generated by these foreign students is estimated to be over $1 billion per year, an average of $10,000 per student per year.
One of the biggest challenges for international students and out-of-town domestic students studying in Greater Vancouver is the cost of accommodation. We believe that GEC's hotel accommodation for students will be the solution to this major challenge. It also allows the majority of students to take an elevator to class, saving them additional costs for transportation.
CIBT Group anticipates that major educational institutions will become the anchor tenants of GEC, including a variety of public and private business schools, career colleges, language schools, arts schools, children art centers and universities. In addition, CIBT Group believes that GEC will also attract post- secondary schools from around the world wishing to establish a representative office or campus in Vancouver, Canada. They will find the GEC to be an ideal place to locate their campus due to its proximity to the Vancouver International Airport and Sky Train station, and the short travel time to shopping and other amenities of downtown Vancouver city via Sky Train.
Professional Services Tenants:
In addition to schools, approximately 30% of the office tower will be leased or sold to education industry consultants (commonly known as agents), professional services such as immigration lawyers, accountants, and consultants that are complementary to the education industry. These education agents contribute a significant volume of business to BC's education sector. For CIBT Group alone, over $26 million dollar of annual tuition was referred to our schools via these agents during the most recently completed fiscal year. Agents will be highly motivated to be located within the complex of the GEC to increase their business with schools focused on international education.
“With 20 years of operating experience in the global education market and innovative leadership in the education sector, CIBT Group has the in-depth knowledge of the needs and concerns of international students and their parents,” commented Toby Chu, President, CEO and Vice Chairman of CIBT Group. “With the BC government planning to increase the number of international students that come to BC by 50% in the next four years and the fact that many North American schools (public and private) are focusing their efforts on recruiting international students to study in North America, we identified an immense gap in fulfilling the affordable housing needs of these international students. The Global Education City is designed to enhance and complement the objective of global education expansion by the Canadian education industry. Our goal is to provide a one-stop solution to international students studying in Greater Vancouver by offering a safe, secure, and convenient environment to study, relax, and enjoy their stay in Canada.”
About CIBT Education Group:
CIBT Education Group Inc. is an education management company focused on the global education market since 1994. Listed in Canada on the Toronto Stock Exchange and in the U.S on the OTCQX International, CIBT Group owns and operates a network of business, technical and language colleges in North America and Asia. CIBT Group offers cooperative joint programmes in 12 countries with campuses, recruitment offices and training centers enrolling over 5,000 students annually. Its education business is operated through Sprott Shaw College (established in 1903), Acsenda School of Management and CIBT School of Business China, and also through KGIC Education Centers in China under a master licensing arrangement with KGIC Canada. Through these subsidiaries, CIBT Group offers Western and Chinese accredited business and management degrees, programmes in college preparation, healthcare, hotel management and tourism, English language training, English Teacher Certifications, junior and high school preparation programmes for overseas study, and other career/vocational training. CIBT Group also owns Irix Design Group, a leading design and advertising company based in Vancouver, Canada, Global Career Center (“GCC”), and Global Education Alliance (“GEA”). GCC is a job placement call center located in the Philippines dedicated to providing employment services to CIBT Group graduates for free throughout their careers. GEA is the premier solution for international students wishing to enter elite kindergarten, primary, secondary schools and universities in North America. Visit us online at www.cibt.net.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Vice-Chairman, President & CEO
Investor Relations Contact: N. America Toll Free: 1-888-865-0901 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some statements in this news release contain forward-looking information (the “forward-looking statements”) about CIBT Education Group Inc. (“CIBT Group”) and its future plans. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. The forward-looking statements in this news release are subject to various risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the company's actual results or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by forward-looking statements. With respect to the statement in this news release as to expectations and plans for the Global Education City (“GEC”) project, these risks, uncertainties and other factors include, without limitation, uncertainty as to the company's ability to achieve the goals and satisfy the assumptions of management, including uncertainties as to the ability to enter into agreements with property owners and developers and complete construction of the GEC; to attract students to reside in the Dormitory Hall; to secure other educational institutions and professional service providers as tenants for the GEC; demand for the programs offered; and general economic factors and other factors that may be beyond the control of the company. Forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, opinions and expectations of the company's management at the time they are made, and CIBT Group does not assume any obligation to update its forward-looking statements if those beliefs, opinions or expectations, or other circumstances, should change.
Toby Chu, 1-604-871-9909
Vice-Chairman, President & CEO