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Durbanville gets its own university

Plans have commenced to develop the greenfield campus for a university in Durbanville; the first one to be developed by Stadio Holdings, a subsidiary of the private education group Curro.

This was announced last night (Wednesday) by Dr Chris van Merwe, founder of Curro Holdings and CEO of Stadio Holdings after he was awarded as Business Leader of the Year by Durbanville Business at their year-end function. This function also served as a fundraising event for Huis Jabes, a home for abused women and children.

Van der Merwe said Stadio Holdings has reached an agreement on the salient terms for the proposed acquisition of a portion of vacant land on the corner of Okavango Road and Wellington Road on the periphery of Durbanville.

“The National Development Plan has set a target to increase higher education participation to 1,6 million students by 2030.

“Currently there are only about 1,2 million students enrolled at higher education institutions. Many learners who qualify for admission to tertiary education institutions simply do not get admission to universities,” said Van der Merwe.

Stadio, an investment holding company which specialises in the acquisition and development of higher education institutions, was listed on the JSE on 3 October.

The Stadio Group currently accommodates more than 30 000 tertiary students across its various brands, including Embury, The Southern Business School, Afda, as well as Lisof and Milpark – the latter two of which acquisitions are in the process of being finalised.

Van der Merwe said in a media release the planned new campus in Durbanville will include existing faculties within the Stadio Group, such as information technology, education, commerce, law and the creative industries – including fashion design, advertising, marketing and communication and the film industry.

Other future faculties will also be developed and acquired by Stadio.

“Stadio is actively exploring the development of a school of engineering, health sciences and medical school,” he said.

The establishment of these still requires further engagement with various roleplayers, he said.

The new campus will accommodate between 4 000 and 5 000 students. 

Stadio will also embark on the registration of several distance learning programmes to support its vision of widening access to higher education. It is envisaged that the campus will open its doors at the beginning of 2021.

“We must all help to lower the unemployment rate in South Africa, which is currently at 27,7%.

“If the private sector can assist government to widen access to higher education and job creation, Stadio will surely help in this regard,” he said.

“The planned campus in Durbanville is one example of how the private sector supports public universities in a common goal to widen access to higher education opportunities,” he said.

Van der Merwe’s announcement was applauded by all present at the year-end function.

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