Aca­demic ex­cel­lence

Educor brands are house­hold names in the field of ed­u­ca­tion

Finweek English Edition - - Focus on educor -

THE BE­ING cation DI­REC­TION taken by edu-

in­ter­na­tion­ally – and es­pe­cially in South Africa, driven for ex­am­ple by tech­nol­ogy growth and in­creas­ing qual­ity stan­dards – fits Educor like a glove.

The ed­u­ca­tion group, which has been part of Naspers’s Me­dia24 group since April last year, is the largest provider of private ed­u­ca­tion in Africa. “Educor’s brands – such as Damelin, INTEC, Ci­tyVar­sity and Lyceum – are well known, liked and cre­ate con­fi­dence,” says MD Hen­nie Louw. “Most of its brands are house­hold names, are well es­tab­lished and have been trusted by stu­dents for gen­er­a­tions.”

Louw says the group has a long his­tory of aca­demic ex­cel­lence and is re­spected by Gov­ern­ment. “Private providers like Educor will at­tain in­creas­ing cred­i­bil­ity in fu­ture and be­come equal al­ter­na­tive providers of ed­u­ca­tion,” Louw says. “Private providers will sup­ple­ment Gov­ern­ment well with their aca­demic in­put, which will fill the gaps that don’t make eco­nomic sense for Gov­ern­ment. Ed­u­ca­tion will be­come a part­ner­ship be­tween Gov­ern­ment and private play­ers like Educor – to a far greater ex­tent than is cur­rently the case.”

Louw says the ed­u­ca­tion approach is in­evitably mov­ing in the di­rec­tion of a mix, where all facets of ed­u­ca­tion are com­bined in the best pro­por­tions. “Face to face, dis­tance and on­line learn­ing will even­tu­ally be­come more in­te­grated. As broad­band and web ac­cess be­come more gen­eral in SA, ed­u­ca­tion will be en­riched and com­ple­mented by the ef­fi­cient and ap­pro­pri­ate use of tech­nol­ogy.”

Where the mar­ket is big enough, such as in the field of school ed­u­ca­tion and fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion (FE), private providers can grow very rapidly if they’re cor­rectly po­si­tioned.

“Educor has po­si­tioned it­self to play an ac­tive role in the school and FE mar­kets by of­fer­ing ap­pro­pri­ate, qual­ity, ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able prod­ucts through its re­spected brands in both mar­kets,” Louw says. “That will be com­ple­mented by niche of­fer­ings in the higher ed­u­ca­tion mar­ket, such as Ci­tyVar­sity, where there are gaps in the mar­ket and there’s a great need.”

It’s Educor’s pol­icy not to rest on its lau­rels, de­spite the ap­prox­i­mately 100 000 new reg­is­tra­tions/year for short cour­ses, cer­tifi­cates, diplo­mas and de­grees at its var­i­ous ser­vice providers. “At any given mo­ment we have an ac­tive stu­dent mem­ber­ship of about 280 000 and a staff com­ple­ment of 1 170, who are sup­ported by more than 1 000 aca­demics. We of­fer more than 500 cour­ses, rang­ing from pri­mary school ed­u­ca­tion to MBA level. But we still look crit­i­cally at what we of­fer,” Louw says.

This has re­sulted in Educor be­ing re­struc­tured re­cently.

There are now six main group­ings in Educor’s struc­ture (see organogram), some of which – such as the Curro private schools – have just been in­cor­po­rated and oth­ers – such as the dis­tance teach­ing sub­sidiary, In­ter­na­tional Col­leges Group (ICG) – are al­ready 100 years old.

Educor last year be­came the first provider of private ed­u­ca­tion in SA to form an Aca­demic Coun­cil.

Louw is very pos­i­tive about the com­pany’s fu­ture in SA’s ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

“Educor is geared to play an ac­tive role in part­ner­ship with ex­ist­ing ed­u­ca­tion play­ers, in­clud­ing Gov­ern­ment and oth­ers in the private sec­tor, to rep­re­sent ed­u­ca­tion fully in SA and else­where in Africa.”

Role and sta­tus of providers of private ed­u­ca­tion in­creas­ing. Hen­nie Louw

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