ADvTECH Group, Africa’s largest private education provider, is pleased to announce the acquisition of a 51% stake in the University of Africa (UoA). Following the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) investment in the Group in 2016 to support its expansion strategy, this acquisition represents the Group’s first tertiary partnership outside South Africa.
A private distance-learning university, UoA has a rapidly growing student base from across the continent and an expanding portfolio of study programmes. It has more than 2000 students and offers 22 bachelors, eight masters and a doctoral degree. The staff complement of 145 academic and administrative support employees is expected to grow rapidly as operations expand.
Commenting on the transaction, ADvTECH Group CEO Roy Douglas said: “Our 51% acquisition of University of Africa will further ADvTECH’s Africa growth strategy, particularly in the area of distance and technology-enabled learning. We share a similar vision for quality education and look forward to helping drive UoA’s vision to become the leading pan-African provider of quality distance education.”
Founded in 2006, the UoA has established a strong brand as a leading distance education provider and has been acknowledged for its role in providing access to quality higher education in rural communities, where access would otherwise be constrained. Students reside across Southern Africa, including Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, the DRC and Swaziland.
Commenting on the transaction’s synergies, Dr Tobias Doyer, Vice Chancellor of University of Africa, said: “Given ADvTECH’s track record and reputation for academic excellence, this collaboration represents an unprecedented opportunity for the growth and expansion of quality private universities in Africa.
The transaction further consolidates ADvTECH’s leadership position in the burgeoning private education sector in line with the group’s continued growth and expansion strategy.
ADvTECH Ltd is the holding company of The Independent Institute of Education (“IIE”), SA’s largest and most accredited private higher education institution. The IIE’s brands include Vega, Rosebank College, Varsity College and The Design School SA, and its qualifications and graduates are highly sought after in the workplace.
The IIE, through its brands, offers more than 90 qualifications, from higher certificates to post-graduate degrees.
With the addition of the University of Africa to the ADvTECH stable, its tertiary division will now comprise 10 brands across 26 sites in sub-Saharan Africa.
This further consolidates ADvTECH’s leadership position in South Africa and the rest of the continent.
Roy Douglas added: “We have an ambitious and considered growth and acquisition pipeline over the next year, which will translate into a significant expansion of the private education offering, both on the schools and tertiary fronts.”
Peter Kriel, General Manager of the IIE, which is responsible for ensuring academic excellence at ADvTECH’s tertiary brands, has been appointed to the UoA Council. The IIE will assist to benchmark the UoA’s degree and diploma programmes against international best practice, thus assist to ensure academic excellence. It will also advise on the appointment of qualified and experienced lecturers and academic staff, develop work-focused curricula created in conjunction with industry experts, and assist with teaching and delivery methods that are constantly innovated in line with global advancements.
To view the UoA infographic, please click here.