FutureLearn, a subsidiary of the PSG Group, has acquired vocational education provider College SA in a bid to broaden its offering in the distance learning market.
FutureLearn provides accessible learning solutions across a range of education market segments, through a number of brands including home education provider Impaq, and adult education and training provider, Media Works.
Learning software specialists CAMI, examination preparation workbooks Quanta, and on-demand tutoring service Tuta-Me are also part of the FutureLearn Group. Within the schools market, FutureLearn provides teacher and learner solutions through Teach360 and ITSI – a provider of e-learning solutions and e-books for schools and other educational institutions.
FutureLearn’s history dates back to 2002 when it started life as home education brand Impaq (previously known as Impak). After PSG Private Equity acquired a majority stake in Impaq in 2012, the business evolved into the FutureLearn Group, which has since carried out several mergers and acquisitions.
FutureLearn today falls within the PSG Alpha stable.
Founded in 2007, College SA is a distance learning private college that offers Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to thousands of adult students across South Africa. College SA’s more than 200 courses cover areas such as Bookkeeping and Accounting, Tourism, Engineering Studies, Marketing and Beauty Therapy, and many more.
These courses include programmes that are accredited by national and international bodies.
College SA accommodates students with various educational qualifications (also those without matric). For example, matriculants who want to pursue engineering studies, but who lack proficiency in Mathematics and Physical Science, can access College SA’s NTC bridging course.
This course gives them the opportunity to gain entry into N1 level courses like motor trade, electrical studies and welding. In addition, College SA offers both accredited and provider courses that don’t require a Matric. These include the likes of ICB foundation level courses in Financial Accounting which require only Grade 10, and Public Sector Accounting which only needs Grade 11.
“FutureLearn, therefore, sees the acquisition of College SA as an opportunity to enter the TVET market and bring the quality and accessible learning it is known for to this new market segment,” it said in a statement.
Eloise Nolte, newly appointed MD of College SA, said: “This acquisition will complete FutureLearn’s strategy of providing accessible learning from NQF level 1-5 by adding more solutions for adult learners. In addition to our current Home, School and Tertiary, and Corporate offerings, FutureLearn is now set to offer lifelong learning using our proprietary GuidEd Learning model.”
Nolte, who joined the FutureLearn team shortly after the PSG investment in 2012, said: “Our group’s success in offering a scaleable, quality offering to distance learners aligns with the College SA business model, and we will be able to add value through synergies with our other businesses units. I am excited about the possibilities for growth, and look forward to continuing to provide our customers with an affordable and reputable offering.”