upGrad draws Rs 150 Cr expansion plan; partners with Jamia Hamdard, OP Jindal Global University

upGrad's Co-founder Ronnie Screwvala added that these funds will be used for launching new courses, acquiring companies and partnering with other colleges and universities.

Edtech company upGrad on Tuesday said it has earmarked an outlay of Rs 150 crore to expand courses offered through its platform, acquisitions and partnerships, and announced its collaboration with Jamia Hamdard University and O P Jindal Global University.

The announcement comes at a time when educational institutions are turning to digital platforms to hold classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns to ensure social distancing. Apart from school education, working professionals are also joining edtech platforms to take courses to enhance their skills.

"We have seen 50-60 percent jump (since the lockdown) over the last quarter in terms of users, and a stronger growth year-on-year...We have an outlay of Rs 150 crore to strengthen our foothold in the higher education market, which is estimated to witness 41 million enrollments by 2022," upGrad Co-founder and Managing Director Mayank Kumar told PTI.

L-R: Mayank Kumar and Ronnie Screwvala. Co-Founders UpGrad

He added that these funds will be used to launch new courses, acquire companies, and partner with other colleges and universities.

However, no timelines have been set for utilising these funds, and the company will add more to the fund as well if needed, he said.

upGrad has partnered with Jamia Hamdard University to offer an online-offline blended BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) and BCA (Bachelor of Computer Application) degrees to school pass-outs. The subsequent Master's for these programmes, MBA and MCA have been launched as well.

It has also collaborated with O P Jindal Global University (JGU) for two Master's programmes — a one-year LLM in Corporate and Financial Law, and a two-year MBA in Digital Finance and Banking.

"The ongoing global crisis calls for evolution on a recurring basis, especially amid the online education space which seems to be the only way forward, owing to its robustness and accessibility...Our degree portfolio will enable learners to continue with their academia, without having to think about the overall crisis that has taken a sharp toll on the offline education system," upGrad Executive Chairman and Co-founder Ronnie Screwvala said.

Kumar said the company is undertaking a three-pronged approach to solve the disruption for both learners as well as academic institutions.

"By bringing in degree programmes, upGrad will enable fresh graduates and working professionals to achieve a full-fledged degree while being within the safe environment of their homes. For college students, upGrad is offering paid programmes and free certification courses which will allow them to utilise the additional time on hand productively," he said.

For offline colleges and universities, upGrad has provided complete access to its upGrad LIVE platform, LMS (Learning Management System) to help them seamlessly migrate to online at zero cost.

Kumar said over 50 institutes have empanelled with the company for the same.

Founded in early 2015, upGrad has on-boarded over 30,000 paid learners and impacted more than half-a-million individuals globally.

It provides online programmes in the areas of data science, technology, management, and law to college students, working professionals, and enterprises.

These programmes are designed and delivered in collaboration with universities like IIT Madras, IIIT Bangalore, MICA, NMIMS Global Access, Duke CE, Deakin University, Liverpool John Moores University, and others.

Edited by Kanishk Singh


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