As described by our Chairman, we are delighted to be presenting Honoris’ inaugural impact report. I am proud to be part of the unique Honoris pan-African educational network that is transforming the lives of learners for lifetime success across the continent now and into the future, through its focus on “Education for Impact”.
Since my appointment to the role of CEO on 1 January 2021, Honoris and its member institutions have accomplished many of their goals and I would like to share some of these with you.
This past year has been another challenging period, as the world navigated the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, the Honoris network has continued to perform very well across its key territories. Through the uncertainties and restrictions imposed by the health authorities, and even the social and political unrest in some of our markets, the Honoris network still delivered strong results.
The strength and resilience of our faculty and support staff is commendable; they demonstrated continuous and unparalleled commitment to the success of our students.
As everyone has grown accustomed to the COVID-19 safety protocols, remote working conditions, and online modus operandi, it is incredible to comprehend the rate at which the world has adapted and leveraged technology.
This applies to Honoris stakeholders, especially the students as they championed the transition to online programs and virtual internships. Honoris is well positioned to continue on this growth path to propel the network into new market segments and geographies.
During late 2020, Honoris established its strategic roadmap around four main pillars: Digitalization, Employability, Expansion, and Performance. In 2021, significant progress was made on all fronts, fueled by the passion of our people and inspired by their commitment to serve.
Our strong organic growth is also complemented by our M&A initiatives that are bringing exciting opportunities in new geographies and segments in the market. This year we welcomed the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business into the network, an institution that is intended to be the first anchor of a Creative Arts, Fashion, and Digital Design vertical. ESPRIT was another institution to be welcomed into the Honoris Tunisia family. The integration of these new members is practically complete and there are already signs of cross-platform synergies and collaboration.
This year Honoris went through a critical leadership transition with the promotion of our founding CEO, Luis Lopez, to the role of Non-executive Chairman of the Board; and the addition of myself as Group Chief Executive Officer. The careful onboarding and transitional planning enabled a smooth and uneventful leadership change. An important addition to Honoris is the Global Safety and Security Advisor.
Honoris has also invested in talent in the Employability area: identifying new leaders in Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria and South Africa. Overall, we have experienced extremely low turnover this year.
Honoris continues building an impressive record of accomplishment as the pan-African private tertiary education leader, with uncompromised commitment to our students’ success, providing access to high quality education, experiential learning, and employability skills.
Honoris now has a community of almost 61,000 students, with more than 3,500 staff in 14 institutions, 10 countries, and 32 cities.
The platform has developed significant expertise in presential, distance, and online education, and it continues strengthening its expertise in the following fields of study: Medicine, Health Sciences, Engineering, IT, Business, Creative Arts and Design, Media, Education, Law, Architecture, and Political Science in Africa.
Despite the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Honoris delivered its strongest performance since it was founded.
Its strong growth trajectory manifests sustainable education models across the continent.
Underpinning Honoris’ impressive results are critical success factors that have contributed to the outcomes: (1) delegation of authority, (2) decentralized model, (3) lean business structure, (4) hiring/recruitment philosophy, and (5) agility and ability to adapt to the changed environment.
These essentials will be what will allow Honoris to continue to deliver on expectations in the short-, medium- and long-term.
Some elements, like risk management, will evolve further as Honoris seeks to mature these processes.
Much progress has been made in improving the Honoris governance frameworks and this first Impact Report is a source of pride. The Executive Team managed to find a narrow window for a physical meeting in Mauritius, where great strides were made in team dynamics, alignment to a common vision, strategy, and values. As such, this is the New Honoris Vision Statement:
“Transforming lives through relevant education for lifetime success”
The Mauritius meeting laid a great foundation for enhancing collaboration and fast-tracking many strategic initiatives, particularly in the areas of digitalization and employability. Honoris will continue to work on their numerous platform innovations, new partnerships and strong pipeline of acquisition targets while simultaneously enhancing their strong performance and quality culture.
2022 has already started strongly and we remain confident in delivering another year of great performance and delivering superb outcomes for our valued students.
I am excited to bring my experience to the Honoris network and assist in identifying new areas for its expansion and innovation. I look forward to working with the management team, the Board – alongside Luis Lopez – and the shareholders, as we embark on this very exciting new chapter for Honoris United Universities.
Dr Jonathan Louw
Chief Executive Officer