Annual Report and Accounts 2010

International education

Our International Education company,
the world leader by revenues,
is active in more than 70 countries.

It is a major focus of our strategy, and sales and profits have doubled since 2006. Our strategy is to combine educational content, assessment, technologies and related services to help educational institutions become more effective and their students more successful. We expect to benefit from a series of powerful long-term global trends: increasing public and private spending on education (despite current pressures on public spending in developed markets); growing participation rates in elementary, secondary and higher education; the demand for assessment to provide measures of achievement; the growing technology infrastructure in educational institutions; and the rise of English as a global language.

Our International Education business has significant exposure to a wide range of currencies including the US dollar and the euro. In 2010, currency movements boosted revenues by £38m and adjusted operating profits by £15m compared to 2009.

Key performance indicators

£ millions 2010 2009 Headline growth CER growth Underlying growth
Sales 1,234 1,035 19% 16% 6%
Adjusted operating profit 171 141 21% 10% 8%
Online learning users
Onlnie results logins

Global highlights in 2010 include:

  • We acquired Wall Street Institute (WSI), which provides premium spoken English training for adults, for $101m in cash. WSI has about 340 franchised learning centres in 25 territories in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
  • More than 670,000 students used our MyLab digital learning, homework and assessment programmes, an increase of more than 40%. They included 150,000 users of our online English-language products MyEnglishLabs and MyNorthStarLab, a 170% increase.
  • Our eCollege learning management system won new contracts in Malaysia and Colombia. Our Fronter learning management system continued to grow strongly with unique registration rising more than 20% to 1.1 million students in more than 8,700 schools, colleges and universities around the world.
  • Pearson Learning Solutions, which combines products and services from across Pearson to deliver a systematic approach to improving student performance, won new contracts in South Africa, Malta, Vietnam and the UK.

UK highlights in 2010 include:

  • BTEC, our flagship vocational qualification, attracted more than 1.4 million student registrations, up 28% on 2009. Research suggests that a BTEC National qualification can increase an individual’s lifetime earnings by up to £92,000. Registrations for our NVQ work-based learning qualification grew 45% to more than 165,000, and we introduced the BTEC Apprenticeship to serve the work-based learning market.
  • We marked more than 5.4 million A/AS Level and GCSE and Diploma scripts in the 2009–2010 academic year, with 90% now marked on screen. Pearson marked and delivered 3.4 million tests in six weeks for the National Curriculum Tests at Key Stage 2.
  • Pearson announced plans to create a vocational degree, to boost student access to higher education in the UK and around the world. The first phase of degree programmes will be developed in business, engineering, IT and health and social care.
  • We established a new school improvement business in the UK, which will work with schools to help them train teachers, improve strategic planning and structure teaching methods.

Continental Europe highlights in 2010 include:

  • In Italy, adoption of our Linx digital secondary science programme increased three-fold, helping Pearson to grow strongly and become joint market leader for combined lower and upper secondary education. Linx is built around content from our North American science programmes customised for the Italian market. We began to develop a broader range and depth of digital products and services, including teacher training, to personalise learning and increase educational effectiveness.
  • In the Netherlands, we launched iPockets, the first fully digital Early English course for 4-8 year-olds in primary education. The course is 100% digital and subscription based and customised for the Dutch market.

Africa and the Middle East highlights in 2010 include:

  • In South Africa’s Western Cape province, we won a three-year contract to prepare, administer and report all Grade 9 student assessments. The tests focus on both individual student results and the systemic performance of schools and districts.
  • Africa and the Middle EastPearson won new national contracts in Ethiopia, to supply 2.9m Biology and Physics learning materials for Senior Secondary Grades 9 to 12. In Zimbabwe, we were awarded a contract by UNICEF to deliver 13.5 million textbooks to children in Grades 1–7 in mathematics, environmental science, English, Shona and Ndebele.
  • Pearson announced its intention to acquire a 75% stake in CTI Education Group of South Africa, one of South Africa’s leading private higher education institutions, for £31 million in cash. CTI serves more than 9,000 students on 12 campuses.
  • To learn more about CTI Education Group, watch our film at
  • We generated strong growth in the Gulf region in higher education with integrated technology products in Business & Economics and Science.

Asia highlights in 2010 include:

  • In January 2011, Pearson agreed to increase its shareholding in Indian education company TutorVista to a controlling 76% stake for a consideration of $127m. TutorVista supplies digital content and technology platforms, online tutoring and services to K-12 schools.

To learn more about TutorVista, watch our film at

Wall Street English

Wall Street English

Starting a global conversation

Student enrolments at our Wall Street English schools increased by 27%. We announced plans to open 50 new English language centres in China adding to the 66 centres and schools already operating under the Wall Street English and Longman English brands. We also acquired Wall Street Institute (WSI), which provides premium spoken English training for adults, for $101m in cash. WSI has about 340 franchised learning centres in 25 territories in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

To learn more about Wall Street English,
watch our film at

Latin America highlights in 2010 include:

  • Our School curriculum business grew strongly, particularly in Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru, as we continued to build our locally developed materials as well as Spanish language adaptations of US school programmes.
  • Strong growth of English Language Teaching materials across Latin America underpinned by performance in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Dominican Republic and Peru.
Latin America learning

Sistema Educacional Brasileiro

Learning: a systemic approach

Pearson agreed a strategic partnership with Sistema Educacional Brasileiro (SEB) in Brazil to provide services to its educational institutions and to acquire its school learning systems (‘sistema’) business for $517m. SEB’s serves more than 450,000 students across both private and public schools.

To learn more about SEB,
watch our film at

Download annual report

Annual report

Watch case studies

Case studies