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upGrad earmarks $30 million for offline expansion; to open 10 campuses in 2023

upGrad earmarks $30 million for offline expansion; to open 10 campuses in 2023

Edtech unicorn upGrad is opening data science-focused offline institutes in the US, Singapore, Middle East, and India. The company also looks to recruit 1,000 PhDs for its specialized programmes. 

Out of the 10 institutes, three would be in the US, the first of which opens in San Francisco in January 2023. Out of the 10 institutes, three would be in the US, the first of which opens in San Francisco in January 2023.

 

Amidst edtech’s continuing challenges, higher education start-up upGrad has embarked on offline expansion. The Ronnie Screwvala-led company will be investing $30 million to open 10 campuses next year under its new ‘UGDX’ brand. This offline expansion is being led by the International School of Engineering (INSOFE), a Data Science, AI, ML-focused institute which upGrad had acquired in May for $33 million. 

Out of the 10 institutes, three would be in the US, the first of which opens in San Francisco in January 2023. Other campuses would come up in Delhi and Chennai (to add to INSOFE’s existing facilities in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore), and one each in Singapore and the Middle East. 

“As part of our goal to be the world’s first and largest fully integrated higher edtech company spanning college learners and working professionals from the age of 18 to 60+ years, this is a natural extension as we move to a very scaled blended offline and online model under our own upGrad brand,” said Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder & Chairperson, upGrad, said in a statement.

At present, upGrad has a learner base of more than three million across 100 countries and over 300 university partners. “upGrad learners have broken the annual CTC threshold of Rs 1 Cr+ during FY22 for in-demand courses like Data Science amongst others,” the company told Business Today earlier.

UGDX plans to recruit specialised faculty, including 1,000 PhDs across geographies. The brand will offer blended offline-online courses in emerging digital technologies, including AI, ML, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Connected Devices, IOT, Quantum Computing, Digital Management, and more. Students can pursue Certificate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral programs in the above fields. upGrad expects UGDX vertical to reach operational break-even in five quarters (end of FY24) from its launch.

Dr Dakshinamurthy Kolluru, Founder and CEO, upGrad INSOFE, who will be heading the UGDX vertical, said, “UGDX’s work-integrated Education programme is unique and sets it apart from traditional universities. Our DNA will be industry-centric, and we are creating programmes that will prepare students to help corporations transform. Rich engagements with industry connections will also enable our learners with real-world experiences from day one.”

UGDX faculty will also be working with multiple colleges in the nearby areas, and designing free faculty development programmes and bootcamps for less-privileged students. “Every UGDX will also have an incubation unit to invest in IPs and foster budding entrepreneurs to formulate ideas and build patents which will be developed and nurtured inside the institute itself,” Dr Kolluru added.

Also read: Start-up funding picks up in October, but fintech and edtech struggle

Also read: upGrad raises $210 mn in latest round amid funding winter, layoff season

Published on: Nov 07, 2022, 12:16 PM IST
Posted by: Mehak Agarwal, Nov 07, 2022, 12:10 PM IST