Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

Bigger players are snapping up small private universities as they take advantage of the demand for higher education. Education conglomerate Advtech on Tuesday detailed a takeover proposal for private university Monash South Africa (MSA), reinforcing notions that demand for private tertiary offerings is set to increase markedly in the years ahead. Both Advtech and smaller rival Stadio Holdings have looked to capitalise on this trend by aggressively seeking out takeover opportunities. Earlier in September Stadio CEO Chris van der Merwe noted there were about 167,000 students enrolled at private higher education institutions in SA compared with 1-million students enrolled at public universities. He argued that public universities had limited infrastructure and state subsidies to cater for this growing need.

Specifically, Van der Merwe argued that with the National Development Plan’s aim of 1.6-million students by 2030, further capacity to accommodate an additional 300,000 to 500,...

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