SOUTH AFRICA – Naspers, the South African e-commerce group, has announced an investment of US$2.9 million in online learning platform, The Student Hub.

The Student Hub platform helps TVET colleges to overcome physical infrastructure constraints and improves students’ access to vocational education and training.

The investment coincides with the South Africa Investment Conference 2020 where Naspers is a lead partner.

Naspers said it was on track with an original US$293 million investment commitment in growing South Africa’s tech sector.

Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, South Africa chief executive of Naspers said, “The work of Naspers Foundry is one of the key focus areas of our business in South Africa. We believe tech companies have the potential to be the cornerstone of South Africa’s economic growth and we want to play a role in unlocking that potential. Our investment in The Student Hub is an example of how digitalisation has the potential to address unequal access to education, create local opportunities, and enable increased participation towards a more inclusive economy.”

Similarly, Fabian Whate, Head of Naspers Foundry, said: “Over the last 18 months, Naspers Foundry has supported promising, best-in-class early stage tech businesses run by local entrepreneurs that have significant long-term potential and address societal needs. We are thrilled with our first edtech investment as Naspers Foundry, and we look forward to working with Hertzy and his team at The Student Hub. We continue to execute transactions against a robust pipeline of potential investment opportunities.”

Hertzy Kabeya, the founder and chief executive, The Student Hub said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Naspers given their deep international experience in the edtech sector. We are a technology company that believes that improving access to education to millions of students across South Africa is at the core of what we do. Linking graduates with the right economic opportunities that relates to their skills are what the economy needs right now.”

The Student Hub digitises TVET course content to present curricula in a personalised and learner-centric environment through a 100 percent online distance learning model, as well as through a blended learning model to students who attend classes in person at TVET campuses nationwide.

The platform provides tools for lecturers and tutors to track individual student performance and for heads of faculties to measure the productivity and performance of lecturers in real time, resulting in a marked increase in pass rates.

Its crowdfunding tools assist students in financing their studies and enable donors.

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