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With a view to enhancing its educational reach, Kaplan Inc., a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (WPO), recently formed Kaplan Global Solutions for the Americas, which jointly with colleges and universities will provide education services and products through programs such as Global Pathways, the US-Sino Pathway Program, @Kaplan Asia and Colloquy.

Initially, Kaplan Global Solutions will provide a range of online learning tools, curriculum research and design services, and technology based educational platforms to assist colleges and universities to enhance the enrollment of students worldwide, and build up novel education programs to woo perpetual learners.

Kaplan Global Solutions, which is part of the Kaplan Ventures division, also has units in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Anne K. Keehn has been named as the President of Kaplan Global Solutions of the Americas.

Earlier, in a separate story, The Washington Post Company announced plans to shed approximately 770 employees or 5% of its workforce at its Kaplan Higher Education division, citing declining enrollments.

Total Kaplan Higher Education enrollments jumped 8% as of September 30, 2010 but slowed from 28% attained in the prior-year.

Kaplan Higher Education recently slashed 130 jobs in South Florida, as a part of its total employee reduction. The division, which is under review for possible prevarication about their financial aid, recruitment procedure and accreditation, defended itself by informing that the work-force reduction does not relate to any pending lawsuit.

The division notified that it will now be more selective while enrolling students, who would be required to undergo meticulous academic evaluation and meet their financial commitments.

The sector bellwether Apollo Group Inc. (APOL) also recently laid off 700 full-time employees due to lower fall in enrollments.

The current potential risk looming over the education sector is the regulation proposed by the Department of Education that may weigh upon students’ enrollments and the company’s profits.

Recently, the Department of Education proposed that an educational program could only qualify for Title IV funds, if it helps in achieving gainful employment, which includes the criteria of loan repayment rate and debt-to-income ratios. The institutions are under the scanner due to the rise in the default rate of student loans, and are now being asked to submit information relating to recruitment procedures and the use of student’s grant.

Currently, we have a Neutral rating on The Washington Post Company.

Source: Global Solutions From Kaplan