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HIGHER LEARNING

Authorities conduct ‘wholesale’ probe into Educor Holdings’ private colleges, including Damelin and Lyceum

Authorities conduct ‘wholesale’ probe into Educor Holdings’ private colleges, including Damelin and Lyceum
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. (Photo: Gallo Images / Lefty Shivambu)

Educor has been silent about allegations linked to its colleges, which include Lyceum College and Damelin College, but higher education authorities are investigating.

Higher education authorities have revealed that a large-scale probe is under way into colleges owned by Educor Holdings following the eviction of its subsidiary Lyceum College from its premises in Woodmead, Sandton, by landlord Adcorp Management Services late last year.

The college now shares a building with Damelin on the corner of Malibongwe Drive and Republic Road in Randburg.

According to the Educor website, its colleges are Damelin College, Damelin Correspondence College, Intec, City Varsity and Lyceum.

The Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, led by Minister Blade Nzimande, issued a notice in 2022 announcing that it would deregister Educor colleges for allegedly failing to submit 2020 audited annual statements ­— an allegation that was denied by Educor.

The department had announced a year earlier that it would deregister some programmes at Damelin College.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Education authorities consider action against Damelin college after flood of student complaints

Nzimande’s spokesperson, Veli Mbele, said, “These institutions have been contacted and they are currently under investigation.”

Mbele said the department had experienced significant problems with Educor colleges and had received many complaints from students at Intec College and Damelin Correspondence College.

“All Educor colleges are under investigation,” he said.

Educor officials did not respond to questions about the eviction of Lyceum and allegations of a delay in the payment of staff salaries, which were sent by Daily Maverick on 29 January and follow-up reminders including calls. There was also no response to questions relating to Damelin, which were sent to Educor and Damelin on Wednesday, 7 February.

About Lyceum

Daily Maverick learnt that Lyceum had been evicted from the subleased campus in Woodmead late last year after allegedly owing more than R2-million to Adcorp.

Adcorp Group general counsel and company secretary Lisa Laporte said, “As of 30 August 2023, the sublease agreement between Adcorp and Lyceum was cancelled pursuant to unremedied breach for non-payment by Lyceum of rental and other direct expenses.”

She said Lyceum continued unlawfully occupying the premises until it left at the beginning of November.

Laporte said Adcorp had asked the department to investigate the matter.

‘Non-accreditation’

Mbele said that in its response to the department on behalf of Lyceum on 22 December, Educor gave the assurance that the college had moved to a new facility and that its teaching, which is distance and online, remained intact.

“They further indicated that the Council on Higher Education (CHE), which is the quality assurance body, has also been informed of the relocation,” Mbele said.

The CHE would have to decide on the accreditation of the site.

However, he said, in January CHE withdrew the accreditation of nine of Lyceum’s programmes — diplomas in fleet management and higher certificates in:

  • Credit Management;
  • Financial Management;
  • Fleet Management;
  • Human Resource Management (HR);
  • Marketing and Sales Management;
  • Public Relations;
  • Small Business Management; and
  • Supply Chain Management.

With regard to Damelin, a certificate issued by the department on 12 December 2022 states the college may not market and have new intakes in a number of programmes pending the ruling of the high court on the withdrawal of accreditation for these programmes.

These programmes are:

  • Higher certificates in PC Engineering;
  • Bachelor of Commerce in Information Management; and
  • Diplomas in Financial Accounting, HR, Journalism and Media Studies, Marketing Management, Office Management, Public Administration, Public Relations and Travel and Tourism.

He referred further inquiries to the CHE.

CHE awaits Lyceum’s response 

CHE CEO Dr Whitfield Green said they had received a letter from Lyceum on 16 November indicating that it had relocated after a lease agreement ended.

“The letter indicated that a relocation application would be submitted. On 31 January 2024, Lyceum College submitted an incomplete online application to the CHE to relocate programmes,” Green said.

The CHE, Green said, was waiting for Lyceum to provide outstanding information before processing the application.

“It should be noted that institutions must apply to relocate before such relocation happens. This issue will be taken into account when the CHE processes the application,” he said.

Green said accreditation had been withdrawn for several Damelin and Lyceum programmes in 2019 following CHE quality assurance processes because the accreditation criteria had not been met.

“Following the withdrawal of accreditation, no new students could be admitted into the programmes, and a teach-out process had to be implemented to support the existing students until they had completed the programmes.”

Accreditation

Lyceum, Green said, did receive accreditation to offer Bachelor degrees of:

  • Administration in Licensing Practice;
  • Arts in Disaster and Safety Management;
  • Commerce in Management (two different courses); and
  • Commerce in Operations Management.

It received accreditation for diplomas in:

  • Criminal Justice (two versions);
  • Grade R Teaching;
  • Management;
  • Metropolitan and Traffic Policing; and
  • Public Administration (two versions).

The college was accredited to offer postgraduate diplomas in Business Management and Traffic Policing; advanced diplomas in Traffic and Metropolitan policing (two versions); and advanced certificates in Project Management (two versions).

Other courses include postgraduate certificates in Education in Intermediate Phase Teaching, and in Senior Phase and Further Education and Training Teaching.

It received accreditation to offer higher certificates in Criminal Justice, General Management (two versions), Incident Management, Law Enforcement in Media Relations, Law Enforcement in Supervision, Office Management, Operations Management, Paralegal Studies, Paralegal Studies in Commercial Practice, Project Management, and Total Quality Management.

Green said Damelin had been granted accreditation to provide Bachelor degrees of:

  • Applied Social Sciences;
  • Applied Social Sciences in Community Service;
  • Commerce in Business Management;
  • Commerce in Accounting;
  • Commerce in Financial Management;
  • Commerce in Marketing and Business Management; and
  • Public Management,

The college, he said, was accredited to provide a postgraduate diploma in Business Management and Administration.

Other accredited diplomas are for Business Management, Financial Accounting, HR, Information Technology, Journalism and Media Studies, Marketing Management, Media and Graphic Design, Office Management, Photography, Public Administration, Public Relations, Sound Technology, Supply Chain and Logistics Management, and Travel and Tourism.

Damelin was also accredited to provide higher certificates in Business Management, Marketing Management, Office Administration, PC Engineering, Project Management, Public Management and Supply Chain and Logistics Management (two versions). DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Ben Harper says:

    There should be a large scale probe inserted up his nose to see if there is actually a brain in there or not

  • To whom it may concern Leo Chetty the President of Educor Damelin Icessa Lyucem Homii and many other business that Leo owns are scams he also used to fund Zumas Campaign and also has Shabbir Shaik in his pockets doing all his dirty work for him he robbered alot of students and contractors to renovate his buildings but don’t pay them as for the certification that he hands out to students is all fake someone needs to stop this parisite he is also a cradle snatcher makes young girls pregnant just like his father sleeps around with the Help

  • Bob Dubery says:

    Government has an interest in curricula. We can’t have any Blade, Fikile or Panyaza flogging something they say is a degree course. Do they have an interest in the accounting of these insitutions. Well, yes, I suppose, though a different branch of government. That’s if they think that there is tax evasion or money laundering or some such going on. I don’t think this is something the DOE should concern themselves about. Unless, maybe, there is a tax consideration based on the number of pupils enroled in recognised courses. Hmmm…. Tricky.

  • My son completed a one year course PC Engineering in 2020..still awaiting his qualification after 4 years. About time the authorities look into Damelin, considering the scores of students they cheated this way.

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