Torrens University President Linda Brown nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year


Torrens University is proud to announce that President and CEO Linda Brown is an EY Entrepreneur of The Year™ 2021 Australia finalist – alongside six Australian entrepreneurs.

For 21 years the distinguished award program has recognised ‘unstoppable’ forward thinking leaders who build and sustain successful, dynamic businesses which reframe the future.

Linda Brown personifies these qualities and more.

The founding CEO of Torrens University – Australia’s only private and now fastest growing university - Linda has always been driven by a belief that education is a fundamental human right. She has steadfastly focussed on providing affordable, relevant, and innovative education. Linda is also CEO of Strategic Education Inc’s ANZ division, which includes Torrens University, Think Education, and the Media Design School in NZ.

She counts among her proudest moments, graduations ceremonies at Torrens University which have changed lives not just of over 20,000 graduates, but their families and communities as well.

Her entrepreneurship came to public attention during the sale of Torrens University to US based Strategic Education Inc, while universities globally dealt with pandemic border closures. At the time, the $880 million deal was heralded as an extraordinary vote of confidence in Australian Higher education and a testament to what Torrens had achieved in only a short period of time.

Chancellor of Torrens University Jim Varghese AM has congratulated Linda Brown, acknowledging her strong belief in public good and ensuring greater impact.

“After knowing Linda for many years, and now working alongside her as Chancellor, I can say this is Linda in a nutshell – unstoppable energy that leads to vision, leadership and success”

“From building the earliest foundations of this beautiful business to forging partnerships and enabling award winning innovation by teams, Linda has built a culture of creative, bold and globally minded teams focussed on students, partnerships and delivering on goals.”

From inception, Linda’s focus has been on collaboration with industry, whose input and endorsement of curriculum has been critical to students graduating with job-ready skills. Industry partners include IBM, Opal Aged Care, Amazon Web Services, Sony PlayStation and Flight Centre and more.

Since its early beginnings with 164 students in 2014, today, Torrens now has 21k students studying worldwide and is Australia’s fastest growing university. Since the pandemic started, Torrens has engaged with over 270,000 people through free short courses and digital community engagement, demonstrating its impact as an innovative B Corporation.

“Demonstrating Linda’s conviction that public good can be created with private money, Torrens awarded $89 million in scholarships in 2020 and 2021 alone to support students and ensure access to high-quality education. The contribution to the Australian economy through international students and staff employment between 2015 and 2020 was $2.6 +billion,” Chancellor Varghese said.

“This is how Linda and her teams across the business are empowering students and graduates to make a difference in the community as changemakers,” Chancellor Varghese said.

“Linda has already made a difference in higher education, with her determined focus on employability of graduates. With a CEO at the helm, Torrens’ business model flips the traditional university approach. Linda has created an industries university which provides education without borders.”

For the first time, the public can vote a People’s Choice winner so you can vote for Linda here.

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