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Actis-backed Education Group Honoris Acquires Nigerian University


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A pan-African education group which counts the global investment firm Actis as one of its investors, has acquired its first university in Nigeria as it seeks to break into the populous West-African nation.

The acquisition of Nile University is Honoris’s first foray into West Africa. The group already operates universities in other African countries including Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritius, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Honoris closed the deal to acquire Nile University in February before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Nigeria. The financial details were not disclosed.

Nile University, located in Abuja was established in 2010 by Hikmet Goban, Basturk Mehmet, Sabri Unal, Copuruglu Tamer and Surat Educational, a group of Nigeria-based Turkish investors who had found success with the Nigerian Turkish International Schools, a chain of secondary schools located across Nigeria. The investors were forced to change the names of their schools to Nigerian Tulip International Schools after the Turkish government accused them of being supporters of Fetullah Gulen, an influential and controversial religious figure whom Ankara blamed for orchestrating a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.

Around 2000 students have graduated from Nile. It currently has roughly 3,500 students who pay tuition fees of around 2.4 million naira per year on the average.

Honoris plans to expand the university’s 113-hectare campus and increase its student base to 10,000 within six years while expanding the university’s distance learning and digital capabilities to target students in the commercial city of Lagos and other states in northern Nigeria.

Honoris United Universities offers more than 100 degrees in fields including Health Sciences, Engineering, IT, Business, Law, Architecture, Arts and Design, Media, Education and Political Science. Delivery is focused on student success and accessibility and includes a blend of on-campus, learning centers and distance learning. The platform’s key values – collaborative intelligence, mobility and agility – unite it in the purpose of securing a successful impact for its students, their families and their communities.

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