Keystone Education Group (Keystone) expands its study abroad offering by acquiring SONOR, a Norwegian-based educational consulting agency. SONOR provides a free service to students to help them navigate applications and recruitment processes to find their first-choice international program. SONOR works with over 60 universities in English-speaking countries, such as the USA, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
– With SONOR, we aim to further consolidate our position as the leading agent for study abroad programs in Northern Europe and expand our offerings in the US, European, and Australian higher education markets. We will work with SONOR to support students at every step of their enrollment journey, pooling our resources, insights, and reach to help students find the right degree or study program, says Erik Harrell, CEO of Keystone (photo right).
– SONOR’s dedication to finding the right education for students fits perfectly with our vision at Keystone – both share a long history of helping students through their journey to the classroom. For institutions, we will be able to expand our student recruitment offerings further, allowing them to enroll the right students for their programs and meet their enrollment needs, he adds.
– We are thrilled that SONOR has joined Keystone and strengthened our study abroad offer so that we can help even more students. This acquisition fits perfectly with our growth journey of expanding globally, says Jostein Vik, Partner at Viking Venture (photo right).
The deal follows a period of substantial growth for Keystone – notably following the acquisition of UK-based UniQuest in October 2021 and German student-athlete placement agency Uniexperts in March this year. It is the second acquisition of an overseas educational consulting company, following Swedish-based Blueberry.nu in 2019. By joining Keystone’s student recruitment agencies, the companies will send over 2500 students abroad in 2022 combined.
According to a 2021 survey by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC), around 49% of US institutions use agencies to reach their international student recruitment goals. Thus, showing significant growth potential for the US study abroad segment.
The acquisition strengthens Keystone’s position as a key player within the US market as it continues the global expansion of its end-to-end student recruitment services.
Keystone is trusted by more than 110 million unique prospective students every year to help students and learners make one of the most important decisions of their lifetimes, namely, which higher education degree program or course to attend.
Keystone helps over 5 500 education institutions reach, recruit, and enroll prospective students in more than 190 countries, across 460 student websites, including Masterstudies.com, Bachelorstudies.com, Educations.com, Studentum.se, and FindAMasters. Keystone also operates various global student recruitment services, including UniQuest, Blueberry.nu, and Keystone Sports.
Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Keystone is backed by Viking Venture and Verdane, two leading Nordic venture firms. With offices across the Nordics, Germany, and the UK, Keystone has an international staff of more than 550 employees.
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