Curro private schools are planning to expand their higher education platform to tertiary, following protests at South Africa’s public universities over fees.
Students at universities across the country have been protesting in support of free education after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced in September that tertiary institutions must set their own individual increases‚ but not exceed 8%.
The protests have left many feeling uncertain about the future of South African tertiary education but some South African private schools are tackling the issue head-on, by investing in private Universities, that may be cheaper than the current model!
The Sunday Times have reported that the Curro institution plans to invest in more “private higher education institutions”, stated the report.
According to Piet Mouton, CEO of PSG private universities will save South Africa millions each year.
PSG’s existing investments include a 58% stake in Curro Holdings, South Africa’s largest private education group with primary and high school facilities on 47 campuses.
“We currently have R1.7 billion cash available for further investments in our existing portfolio and one or two smaller green field businesses,” Mouton told Reuters after the company reported half-year results.
Curro have already established one tertiary institution in KwaZulu-Natal with over 3000 students.
In 2017, two new Curro higher education institutions will open – one for 1,600 students in Midrand and one for 1,000 students in Pretoria.
An institution in the Western Cape for over 3,000 students will open in the next 2-3 years, stated the report.
“Curro is busy designing courses and degrees and getting them accredited, a process that will take two years.”
Curro CEO Chris van der Merwe said they aim to grow private higher education in the country, as “there are 50,000 eligible students who cannot find places in public universities”.
Van der Merwe said degrees at Curro institutions would be accredited as public university degrees are, and would cost around R40,000.
He added that if private universities are not allowed, children of wealthy parents would leave South Africa.
Curro’s private higher education institutions will not be as recognised as UCT or Stellenbosch initially, but work will be done to ensure their degrees fit the needs of corporate South Africa.