EducorCape Argus reports that Educor, which owns Damelin, City Varsity, Intec College and Lyceum College, is planning to retrench more than 700 people from its workforce; almost half its permanent staff.  

This development comes on the back of increased business insolvencies in the fourth quarter of last year, according to Stats SA.  The 1,558 permanent employees of the Educor brands received an internal memo on 7 February indicating that the higher education group was materially affected by the poor economy, which was leading to fewer enrolments and a growing number of students not paying fees.  Educor chief operating officer Michael Thurley said first year enrolments were 20% lower than last year.  The group was also 48% behind sales budget for this year, which corresponded with a decrease in student fees.  Thurley indicated that the reason for the proposed retrenchments was based on financial and operational requirements.  “We regret to advise that no voluntary severance packages or early retirement packages will be offered,” he advised.  Democratic Alliance (DA) spokesperson on higher education and training Professor Belinda Bozzoli said it would help if the government were to provide a subsidy to private institutions that were of the right standing and quality.

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