In just seven years, we have made significant progress and demonstrated powerful business performance within our sector. During this defining period, we established ourselves as an authorative partner to leading internationally focused universities, driving investment and delivering improved performance by any and all metrics, current and historic.
In seven years we have successfully established 17 partnerships with 18 leading universities in the UK, North America and China, including legal and financial negotiations. For each partnership, we have established large-scale student teaching centres, some of which have residential accommodation included. Our programmes have been validated by each partner university.
Our enrolment across the group has steadily risen over the last four years as our marketing network has grown, new partners have been added and our existing partnerships have matured. We started with 392 commencements in 2006 and have now surpassed 41,000 commencements. Our 17 joint ventures now attract students from over 105 countries.
Efficient operations and the student experience
Our objective is to deliver the best educational experiences in our centres, which requires effective resourcing and investment in teaching and the student experience. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide these, along with effective performance management.
We closely manage progress against our key performance indicators. These cover staff ratios, teaching loads and class sizes, while encouraging cost control and productivity initiatives within centres (such as exploring ways in which technology can be used to improve the learning experience in the classroom). At the same time, should our partners need to enhance their campus to continue offering a premium experience for their students, we will invest or stimulate investments in the facilities, systems and services required.
Best practice also plays a vital role across our operations. A major benefit of our growing network of partner universities is that we are building a significant shared bank of business information that all our partner can access.
In our first three years, we created 435 new jobs - equivalent to a new job every three days. Now, after seven years, we have around 1,350 members of staff across the group. We work to recruit, train and develop the top talent within the sector. Fortunately, many of our key positions in our partnerships are filled by top university staff, enabling us to launch new joint activities with an established, experienced and reliable team.