Stadio has big plans for private universities in South Africa

Private university group Stadio has reported an profit of R35.5 million for the six months ended June 2018, up from a loss of R3.3 million in the year prior.

The group, which used to be part of the Curro group of schools, was unbundled to investors in October 2017, and listed as an independent entity targeting private tertiary education.

Profits were driven by Stadio’s expansion plan, which included the acquisition of a number of higher education groups.

Stadio currently owns 5 registered higher education institutions that are aimed at providing programmes, both undergraduate (including bachelors degrees, higher certificates and diplomas) and post graduate (including honours and masters degrees).

Brands within the Stadio group include film school ADDA, Embury, fashion institution LISOF, and Southern Business School.

The financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2018 also included the consolidation of MBS Education Investments (Pty) Ltd (MBS Education), which owns 100% of Milpark Education (Pty) Ltd (collectively Milpark) effective 19 March 2018.

HIghlights of its financial results include:

  • Student numbers increased from 1,112 to 27,777
  • Income increased from R35 million to R301 million
  • EBITDA increased from (R1 million) to R60 million
  • Core headline earnings increased from (R3 million) to R32 million
  • HEPS increased from (0.8) cents to 3.5 cents

The large jump in student numbers is attributable to the acquisition of the other learning institutes. For the comparable period, student numbers increased from 25,173 across all groups in 2017 to 27,777 in 2018.

The bulk of the students (21,175) are in the business and commerce faculty.

New courses

The group currently offers 59 programmes across all faculties, with 47 more in the pipeline or in the process of being accredited, bringing the total to 106 programmes it will offer.

Stadio said it is currently actively exploring the feasibility of developing further facilities, inter alia, Faculty of Engineering and Manufacturing and a Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

“The establishment of the aforementioned faculties are currently in the research phase and still require further engagement with various role-players, including the Council for Higher Education (CHE), the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and other related professional councils.

“In time, Stadio will look to consolidate the programmes offered by its various higher education institutions that will allow all stakeholders to benefit from the marketing, operational and regulatory advantages of doing so,” the group said.

It said that it is still currently focused on growing its existing registered higher education institutions, is pursuing potential further acquisitions of relevant higher education institutions, exploring further expansion opportunities of existing institutions and overseeing the development of new faculties, programmes and campuses across all institutions.

New campus

The group said that it has entered into an agreement to acquire vacant land located in Durbanville, Western Cape as part of its geographic expansion plan.

It intends to develop the land with the aim of opening a consolidated campus offering several faculties, including: Education and Training; Business and Commerce; Law, Security and Political
Sciences; and Creative Industries (including, fashion design, advertising, marketing and communication and the film industry), as well as future faculties.

It is expected that the new campus will open in 2021 and accommodate approximately 5,000 contact learning students over time.

Read: Stadio reveals big plans for new campuses – including a medical and engineering school

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Stadio has big plans for private universities in South Africa