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The for-profit education chain Laureate Education announced Wednesday it had entered into a $642.7 million agreement with the company Strategic Education to sell its institutions in Australia and New Zealand. Laureate said the three institutions -- Torrens University Australia and Think Education in Australia and Media Design School in New Zealand -- collectively enroll about 19,000 students in technical, undergraduate and graduate programs.

The Baltimore-based Laureate, a publicly traded company known for its global network of campuses, has sold off a number of international institutions in recent years as it has shifted its focus toward emerging markets. Laureate says it currently enrolls more than 850,000 students at more than 25 institutions with more than 150 campuses, with the company's primary focus being Latin America.