Guided learning provider FutureLearn, which is a subsidiary of financial services group PSG, has wholly acquired South African adult education and training specialists Media Works.
The deal, for an undisclosed but substantial amount, took effect on 1 May 2018 and means FutureLearn (which has traditionally targeted school learners and the home schooling environment) can add adult education and corporate training to its offering.
Stefan Botha, the CEO of FutureLearn said, "FutureLearn has spent significant time and resources over the past few years in establishing technology solutions that can be used in any learning environment.. Media Works also already uses exciting technology in the learning environment, such as learner management and course delivery systems, video content, and other online learning solutions. We believe that the combination of these resources and expertise will provide an even more compelling offering, including technology solutions, to support learning in any environment, from schools and home education to adult learning and corporate training.
To illustrate Botha says both companies currently provide Grade 12 solutions - Impaq's NSC (National Senior Certificate) and Matric Works' ASC (Amended Senior Certificate), which utilises complementary content, technology platforms and learning systems.
Despite having traditionally focused on different markets, the two companies overlap when it comes to using software and similar curriculum content.
"Combining these will unlock significant value," he adds. "Furthermore, FutureLearn has access to vast amounts of educational content which can enhance the offering of Media Works. An example would be the Maths content held by FutureLearn's CAMI Mathematics offering, which will be made available to Media Works' adult learners."
He adds that adult education and training, including Media Works' compelling adult matric solution, is important for the country.
This week South Africa's Minister of Higher Education and Training Naledi Pandor was quoted in local media as saying she intends to establish a multi-sectoral task team to delve into how the higher education sector is responding to the so-called fourth industrial revolution.
Jackie Carroll, CEO of Media Works, says the deal enables the company to grow into new markets while also being in the same family as Impaq, CAMI, Tuta-Me and the broader PSG family.
The companies have stressed that a condition of the sale is that the Media Works leadership team remain in place, which means the company's founders Carroll as well as Development Director at Media Works, will continue in their respective positions.
There are no staff changes as a result of the deal.