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Founded in 2013, Shaw Academy provides online courses which are audio/video recorded and deliver them to students through scheduled webinar times. The courses offered cover subjects including photography, health and fitness, financial trading, nutrition, web development, mobile app development and digital marketing. Shaw Academy uses online tools to answer students' live questions.
Shaw Academy was founded by James Egan and Adrian Murphy in 2013.
By January 2016, Shaw Academy was teaching about 55,000 new students each month. By November of that year, it was teaching 400,000 new students every month and had surpassed teaching over 1.84 million students.
In January 2016, founder Adrian Murphy and Irish Minister for Jobs, Richard Bruton, announced 40 new education positions in the Dublin office. The CEO of Irish government agency Enterprise Ireland, Julie Sinnamon, described Shaw Academy at the time as "an example of an innovative Irish company in the growing online learning market, who are also supporting other Irish SMEs to grow through their extensive suite of online courses."
In January 2017, Shaw Academy launched an educational platform, called Phoenix, to accommodate growing student numbers.
In January 2019, the organisation ran into financial difficulties with the calling in of a €5.7m debt resulting in the High Court appointing an insolvency practitioner. In March, the court approved the exit of Shaw Academy from examinership after the company secured an additional €7.15 million in funding.
In June 2020 Shaw Academy claimed a tenfold increase in students due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. At that time a number of customers of the academy started making complains that they were having difficulties cancelling free trail memberships. Other customers stated that the academy was taking unauthorized payments and the customers were having a difficult time getting their money back. Trustpilot has issued an alert on its website that Shaw Academy may have taken actions that lead to an artificially inflated “TrustScore.” Examples of the artificially inflated scores includes emails being sent by company representatives that asked customers to delete negative Trustpilot reviews or replace them with positive reviews.
Shaw Academy offers courses ranging from business related topics such as digital marketing, social media marketing and web development to wellness programmes such as health and fitness and sports nutrition. Courses are delivered with recordings of live presentations. Students can log on to an online portal to complete assignments, exams, review modules, replay lectures, and view additional content. Educational and technical support teams are also available to students.
The professional diploma courses of Shaw Academy were previously accredited by the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) through validation from Edinburgh Napier University, but this accreditation was withdrawn on 24 July 2019. Students who enrolled after this date will no longer receive an accredited qualification.
The company's headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, and it has other offices elsewhere, employing approximately 200 staff globally in 2016. In September 2015, Shaw Academy set up an office in Bangalore, India, which employed over 120 staff. In April 2019, Shaw Academy had 66 employees, distributed across Dublin, Bangalore and Cape Town.