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Higher Education Department deregisters Damelin, CityVarsity, Lyceum


The registrations for Damelin College, CityVarsity, Lyceum Colleges, and Icesa City Campus as private higher institutions have been cancelled by the Department of Higher Education

director-general Nkosinathi Sishi, citing noncompliance with the law and a failure to submit annual financial statements for 2021 and 2022. These private tertiary institutions are owned by Pinetown-based Educor.

This could potentially leave thousands of students stranded and without a place to study next year. Educor is also the biggest private education provider in the country. Educo competes with AdvTech and Stadio, who have grown in numbers in the past years. Lyceum was founded in 1917 and Damelin in 1943.

Educor also recently came under fire when staff were reportedly not paid their salaries on time. Financial difficulties have also troubled Educor since 2020. A news report last month also mentions that the Damelin campus in Braamfontein had its lights turned off for allegedly failing to settle an electricity bill of nearly R3m. All Educor institutions are also allegedly under investigation over numerous complaints from a Damelin college, according to a Daily Maverick report.

Sishi announced his decision in a government gazette, which notes the Higher Education Act. The Act stipulates that private tertiary institutions have to submit financial statements to the department.

The gazette also mentioned that the tertiary institutions "did not fulfil the obligations expected of a private higher education institution" as specified in regulations".

Per regulations governing the registration of private higher education institutions under the Higher Education Act, when an institution is deregistered, it is required to inform all students within 14 days and furnish them with transcripts of their academic records. Furthermore, they are obligated to reimburse students for any education they were unable to access.

The colleges also have to make adequate arrangements for affected students to complete their programmes at a comparable public or private institution.