Chris van der Merwe, CEO of Curro Holdings.
DURBAN - JSE-listed higher education group Stadio said yesterday that it would begin developing a new and comprehensive campus at Phesantekraal outside Cape Town after finalising a transaction for a site of 7.8hectares.

The group said it planned to start the development by March 2019 and to have the campus up by February 2021. It said the new campus would supplement newly constructed Stadio facilities at Musgrave in Durban, Montana in Pretoria and Waterfall in Midrand.

The new Phesantekraal campus coincides with the accreditation of Stadio’s first doctoral degree in Business Administration with a further two doctoral degrees in the offing.

Phesantekraal is the company's first large greenfield investment in its quest to establish a multiversity.

Stadio chief executive Dr Chris van der Merwe said the group’s ultimate vision was to create a multiversity for 100000 students.

“We believe that there is ample room for expansion as 100000 students will only be 5percent of the total higher education market in South Africa,” Van der Merwe said.

Stadio was spun off from Curro Holdings last year and listed separately on the JSE in October with approximately 13000 students.

Van der Merwe said that the group had a potential to reach 30 000 students in 2018 as acquisition targets for 2017 were fully met.

He said there was also an intake at the beginning of the second semester of 2018.

The group is setting a target of reaching 56000 students by 2016, according to its pre-listing statement.

Van der Merwe said the company had crafted a dedicated strategy consisting of acquisitions, expanding product offerings and optimising the utilisation of existing facilities to guide its growth process.

Stadio currently provides access to 54 accredited programmes with a further 44 programmes being in the pipeline.

The group said its vision was to establish a comprehensive range of faculties.

Stadio shares rose 17.86percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R4.6.

- BUSINESS REPORT