LISTED education company iPeople, Inc. expects more students to sign up in August this year on the back of a new education offering under a partnership between its Mapua schools and Arizona State University (ASU).

“The official signing was in May [last year], then we announced it publicly in June. The first classes were in August [last year]. But then we’ve not really had the chance to market or discuss it much,” iPeople President Alfredo I. Ayala told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference in Makati City on Monday.

“This coming year, we’re hoping to see significant signups,” he said, citing the collaboration with ASU.

Mr. Ayala said the company is sharing “more proactively everything there is to offer.”

“We also wanted to get off the ground and run a few courses. Make sure that we are doing everything properly,” he added.

In 2022, iPeople’s Mapua University and daughter schools Mapua Malayan Colleges Laguna and Mapua Malayan Colleges Mindanao entered into a collaboration with ASU to improve and focus on the business and health sciences programs.

The partnership allowed Mapua schools to be members of global network ASU-Cintana Alliance, which consists of 15 higher education institutions in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Some of the alliance’s other members are Galala University in Egypt, The NorthCap University in India, and Universidad Internacional del Ecuador in Ecuador.

Under the collaboration, students will have access to ASU’s content in all enhanced courses, participate in the global signature courses from professors at member universities of the alliance via virtual classrooms, and interact with foreign classmates without leaving the Philippines.

Students could also participate in classes co-lectured by ASU faculty and gain opportunities to participate in student exchange and summer immersion programs at ASU-Cintana schools.

“Our collaboration with global leader ASU and being part of the ASU-Cintana Alliance enable us to take these to a higher level for our students, by giving them numerous opportunities to learn with a top-ranked US university, and other leading education institutions around the world,” iPeople Chairman and Mapua University President Reynaldo B. Vea said.

iPeople owns seven educational institutions consisting of Malayan Education System, Inc. operating as Mapua University, Mapua Malayan Colleges Laguna, Mapua Malayan Colleges Mindanao, and Malayan High School of Science in Manila; the University of Nueva Caceres in Bicol; National Teachers College; and APEC Schools.

iPeople is an education company under Ayala Corp. and the House of Investments of the Yuchengco group of companies, which hold a stake of 33.5% and 51%, respectively.

On Monday, shares of iPeople at the local bourse dropped 13 centavos or 1.71% to end at P7.49 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave