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Department of Higher Education Cancels Registration of Educor-Owned Colleges

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Department Of Higher Education Cancels Registration Of Educor Owned Colleges

The Department of Higher Education has taken the decision to cancel the registration of Damelin College, CityVarsity, Lyceum College, and Icesa City Campus, which are all under the ownership of Educor, a key player in South Africa’s private tertiary education sector. The cancellation was implemented by the department’s director-general, Nkosinathi Sishi, due to the institutions’ failure to submit their financial statements for the years 2021 and 2022, as required by law.

Educor, based in Pinetown and known as the largest provider of private tertiary education in South Africa, has been facing financial challenges since 2020 and is in direct competition with JSE-listed firms such as AdvTech and Stadio. The department’s action was also based on the institutions’ failure to comply with the regulations and responsibilities outlined for private higher education providers under the Higher Education Act.

According to the regulations, once an institution is deregistered, it must inform all its enrolled students within 14 days, provide them with academic transcripts, and offer reimbursements for any education services that could not be accessed. Minister Blade Nzimande has previously mentioned that his department had received numerous complaints from students at Damelin College, prompting a closer investigation into institutions owned by Educor Holdings.

Recent reports indicated that the Council on Higher Education had revoked accreditation for a number of diplomas offered by Lyceum College, a subsidiary of Educor. Additionally, Damelin College has been restricted from enrolling new students in several programs pending a court ruling on the accreditation status of these programs, as per a certificate issued by the department in December 2022.

The situation has escalated further with the eviction of Lyceum College from its premises in Woodmead, Sandton, by landlord Adcorp Management Services. The Department of Higher Education spokesperson, Veli Mbele, highlighted significant concerns with Educor colleges and mentioned ongoing complaints from students at Intec College and Damelin Correspondence College, further intensifying the scrutiny and probe into Educor-owned institutions.

Rachel Adams

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