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Siegie Brownlee

Eduvos: Transforming Education Across Continents

A Journey of Innovation, Practical Skills, and Blended Learning Excellence!

What if education was a journey of discovery rather than a destination? Unlike a static destination, a journey implies movement, progress, and evolution. Similarly, education is not confined to the four walls of a classroom or limited to a specific time frame. It’s a continuous and functional process that extends beyond formal education into the vast landscapes of life experiences, curiosity, and self-discovery. Each lesson, whether learned in a classroom, at home or encountered in the expedition of life, contributes to the growth and evolution of an individual.

Eduvos emerges as a beacon of transformative learning, embodying the belief that education is a versatile exploration. The journey of this institution is rooted in a rich history dating back to 1979, and now, under the visionary leadership of Siegie Brownlee, the institution stands at the forefront of redefining education in Africa.

As the CEO of Eduvos, she is not just a leader; but a catalyst for change in the education landscape. The institution’s journey, marked by mergers and transitions, reflects a commitment to staying ahead of the curve. Her leadership is driven by simple yet profound questions: What will the function and benefit of a university be in years to come? How will people learn into the future? Which skills will industry require going forward?”  These questions encapsulate Eduvos’s philosophy, where learning is not a static endpoint but a dynamic expedition.

The institution’s inception in 1979, its technological prowess through the Computer Technology Institute, and the subsequent mergers leading to the Pearson Institute of Higher Education laid the groundwork for what Eduvos is today. In 2021, a pivotal moment arose with the consortium of Exeo Capital and Stellenbosch Business Institute taking ownership. This marked the birth of Eduvos, signalling a renewed dedication to high-quality, blended learning across the African continent.

Under her guidance, Eduvos is redefining the narrative of education. The institution is not just adapting to change; it is driving the change. With a focus on blended learning, Eduvos equips students with the skills needed for a dynamic, interconnected world. Brownlee’s leadership reflects a commitment to fostering a learning environment that goes beyond traditional paradigms, embracing the idea that education is an ongoing discovery.

Join us on this journey of transformation, where education is not a static destination but a continuous exploration, led by the innovative spirit of Siegie Brownlee and the dynamic institution that is Eduvos.

A Leader’s Journey

Siegie, with over 25 years of experience in Private Higher Education Management, remains steadfast in her commitment to the field that brings her the greatest joy, fulfilment, and purpose. Renowned as a dynamic and visionary leader, she inspires and motivates teams to achieve organizational goals, drawing on her extensive background in private higher education, and her inquisitive mind of understanding the future.

As a strategic and agile thinker, Siegie possesses the knowledge, insights, and experience needed to successfully transform organizations and departments. Her reputation for building high-performing teams stems from her adaptability and resilience in overcoming challenges and motivating leaders and employees to thrive in the face of adversity.

Aligned with the values of the organisations she represents, Siegie authentically leads with integrity and strong ethical values. Her success lies in her adaptability to an ever-changing business landscape and her ability to communicate and inspire seamlessly in both public speaking and virtually online.

Siegie’s unwavering commitment to shaping the future of higher education is evident in her mission to provide quality, affordable private higher education, placing students at the centre of the learning model. She envisions graduates entering society equipped with the knowledge and skills to contribute positively and make a measurable impact in their careers and organizations. She believes that Eduvos graduates need to be shining examples of competence, ethical values and innovation in the communities and societies they live in and serve.

Siegie’s alignment with Eduvos reflects her commitment to establishing an institution that addresses prevalent socio-economic injustices by providing affordable, quality higher education to the African continent. Eduvos shares this vision, believing that “Africa is just too rich to be poor”.

With a mission to shape potential, student by student, toward Africa’s prosperity, Eduvos aims to empower the continent’s youth, which makes up more than 40% of the world’s youth. Through education, Eduvos envisions these young people making a positive difference in Africa and contributing to its growth and development.

Progressive Approach

In describing Eduvos, Siegie emphasizes the institution’s progressive, forward-thinking, agile, and fast-paced nature. The organisation, along with its dedicated staff, actively embodies a “growth mindset,” wholeheartedly embracing contemporary technologies, innovations, and shifts in the professional and academic landscapes. This commitment aims to better equip students with the essential skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the present and future job market.

Eduvos maintains a continuous commitment to staying current by regularly updating its curriculum, classrooms, and teaching methods to reflect changes in industry, student requirements and the professional sphere. The institution has adopted a “flipped classroom model” as an extension of the hybrid model that is aimed at increasing the value of learning in a classroom and encouraging increased collaboration.

Taking a bold step into the future, Eduvos seeks to integrate Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as AI and VR into its educational framework. In pursuit of this goal, the institution has established a partnership with the U.S.-based company, EON Reality. Through this collaboration, Eduvos intends to seamlessly incorporate AI and VR into its teaching methods, providing students with a distinct competitive edge in the job market. This approach ensures that students not only understand these technologies but are also adept at applying them in their daily lives. Siegie believes that facilitators should be custodians of “edutainment”.

Internationally Recognized Qualifications

Eduvos offers an array of over 20 fully accredited, globally acknowledged qualifications within its four future-facing faculties: Applied Science, Commerce and Law, Humanities, and Information Technology. The qualifications range from degrees, honour’s degrees, higher certificates, pre-degree foundation programmes, and online short courses.

The institution, dedicated to driving relevance, consistently updates and reassesses its qualifications to align with the evolving demands of the professional landscape. In 2023, Eduvos responded to the surging demand for skilled AI engineers, spurred by the widespread adoption of AI tools like ChatGPT, by introducing an Azure AI Engineering qualification.

Recognizing the global and African market for gaming and esports, Eduvos has also launched two gaming qualifications. This strategic move aims to address the prevailing skills gap in the gaming industry within the African continent.

Approach to Flexible Learning

In ensuring a flexible learning approach for its students, Eduvos adopts various modes of learning delivery, encompassing on-campus, online, and distance learning. The institution’s flexible learning strategy accommodates both full-time and part-time study options, providing a comprehensive educational experience. Regardless of one’s entry point in the learning journey, Eduvos offers a diverse range of qualifications tailored to meet individual needs. Many of these qualifications are also designed for working professionals looking to upskill or re-skill, ensuring their continued relevance in the versatile job market.

Holistic Learning Environment

Eduvos provides students with an all-encompassing learning experience that encompasses academic, wellness, campus, student-life, and health dimensions. Its Edu-vibe permeates the campuses, fostering a strong sense of community among “Vossies” (the affectionate term for students). The student body reflects diversity, with representation from over 40 countries.

A team of Student Affairs Advisors serve as dedicated “personal bankers” to students, remaining readily available to help, support, and guide students at any time and stage of their learning journey. The comprehensive Student Affairs agenda spans student wellness, academic support, student funding, student activities, career guidance, international student support, student inclusivity, and employment aid – amongst others.

Campuses serve as lively hubs for a variety of student activities and clubs, including Moot court teams, debate clubs, poetry slams, soccer teams and esports tournaments. Eduvos recently launched esports leagues across all 12 campuses, establishing itself as one of the largest higher education leagues in the country. Esports provides valuable learning opportunities, particularly in STEM fields, requiring students to collaborate, analyse strategies, and understand computer hardware and software. The esports initiative has emerged as a significant avenue for students across campuses to connect with each other.

Commitment to Student Growth and Employability

In its commitment to supporting students on their academic and career journeys, Eduvos offers a range of resources and services designed to enhance their competitiveness in the job market.

It acknowledges that its role extends beyond the classroom as the first stride in its students’ professional trajectory. The qualifications provided by Eduvos are meticulously crafted to imbue students with relevance, ensuring they have a distinct advantage in the competitive job market.

At the heart of this commitment is a dedicated campus Employability Centre, a hub of activity that organises events such as CV writing workshops, job interview skills, and industry breakfasts. This centre serves as a vital conduit, connecting students with employment and internship opportunities. Furthermore, the Employability Centre facilitates networking between students and industry professionals, fostering invaluable connections and knowledge exchange. For those aspiring to pursue advanced studies, the Centre offers guidance and support.

Eduvos campuses often host Career Fairs, providing students with direct access to industry professionals. These events offer a platform for students to explore job opportunities and internship programmes relevant to their chosen fields of study. The fairs are instrumental in equipping students with insights into potential career paths and the chance to engage with industry leaders.

The institution’s commitment to practical, real-world experiences is evident in the expansion of its Industry Partnership list. In 2023, Eduvos established numerous Employability Affiliation Agreements, enhancing students’ employability through practical skills, industry knowledge, and networking opportunities. Participation in internships, joint graduate programmes, and collaboration with industry professionals at events, provides students with hands-on experience, making them more appealing to prospective employers.

Eduvos has solidified partnerships with key entities such as Old Mutual, Pepkor IT, and the National Funeral Directors’ Association. These collaborations offer students unique opportunities to interact with and learn from seasoned professionals in their respective fields, further enriching their academic and career pursuits.

Sustaining Relevance in Education

Eduvos employs a proactive strategy to remain attuned to industry trends and evolving educational demands, ensuring the continual relevance and future orientation of its curriculum.

Within each academic faculty, it sets up Industry Advisory Boards spanning Captains of Industry across diverse industries. Regular engagements with industry leaders guarantee that the institution’s programmes align with current industry needs. Accreditation from various professional bodies further contribute to maintaining currency and relevance across their academic content. An outward-looking ethos ensures that students benefit from industry immersion through mandatory Work Integrated Learning Programmes, exposure to guest lecturers, and hands-on engagement with real-world business challenges and case studies.

The faculties include a dynamic blend of academics and industry professionals, equipped with first-hand knowledge of industry happenings. This unique composition enables them to adapt the curriculum dynamically, ensuring it remains responsive to industry dynamics. The Academic Team often revises the content of each qualification to ensure that students receive a relevant and current education that positions them as contributors upon entering the workforce.

Making Waves Globally in Diverse Sectors

Eduvos secured a prestigious PMR.Africa Diamond Arrow Award this year, recognizing it as the premier private higher education provider in South Africa. In an extensive survey conducted by PMR. Africa, featuring responses from key professionals such as line managers and HR managers in large companies, government departments, and state-owned enterprises, their graduates stood out across 12 criteria. These encompassed skills like workplace application, innovation, and academic knowledge, with Eduvos graduates receiving the highest scores. Furthermore, five Eduvos students were lauded in the Top 100 of the DHL Grad Star Awards.

Achievements in graphic design highlighted Eduvos students’ exceptional talent, earning them accolades at the prestigious annual Student Gold Pack Awards. In 2022, Eduvos became the first private higher education institution in South Africa nominated to provide its students access to Golden Key Membership. Currently, over 300 Eduvos graduates have received invitations to join the esteemed Global Golden Key Society which recognises academic excellence. Among these accomplished individuals is Bianca Lee Burgess, an alumna in graphic design who has ventured into the world of special effects, contributing to BAFTA and Emmy award-winning shows such as The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian (Season 3), and Black Mirror.

Louis Oosthuizen, who pursued a part-time job while earning his Software Engineering degree at Eduvos, has progressed to attain a Bachelor of Science Honours in Information Technology (Software Engineering). As a Full-Stack Developer proficient in multiple programming languages, Louis’s unique study path enabled him to transition directly to a developer role without undergoing a traditional graduate programme.

Suhanna Pitamber embarked on her educational journey at Eduvos with a Higher Certificate in Information Systems (Software Development) and later graduated with an ACCA-accredited Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting qualification. This qualification has paved the way for her to complete her ACCA articles at one of South Africa’s premier audit firms, solidifying her position in the accounting profession.

Vision and Growth Strategy

Eduvos’s vision for the future and upcoming initiatives are poised to make a significant impact on the education landscape. In 2023, the institution celebrated a remarkable milestone by welcoming a record number of first-year students, surpassing the enrolment of many public universities in South Africa.

Anticipating continued growth in the years ahead, Eduvos has undertaken strategic measures to accommodate the increasing student population. This includes the relocation of some campuses and the expansion of others. While these endeavours often present logistical challenges, the institution views them as positive indications of its role in addressing the educational needs of the burgeoning youth population in Africa.

Eduvos aspires to solidify its position as Africa’s leading private university in future years. This ambitious goal involves not only expanding digital offerings, increasing its presence in Africa, but also integrating meta-technologies more deeply into the teaching methodology. This technological focus assists Eduvos in delivering top-quality, practical higher education.

Underlining the institution’s commitment to transparency and showcasing its impact, Eduvos features a dedicated section in its Blog titled “Vossie Features.” In this space, students openly share their learning journeys, shedding light on the tangible and positive influence Eduvos has on their academic and personal development.

The institution is determined to build on this significant momentum, ensuring that its contributions to education continue to thrive and evolve in the years to come.

Eduvos Graduates: Making a Mark Globally

Eduvos takes immense pride in the impactful contributions of its graduates who are effecting positive change globally across diverse fields. The institution’s commitment to excellence has been recognized with the prestigious PMR.Africa Diamond Arrow Award, appointing Eduvos as the best private higher education provider in South Africa. The award was granted following extensive interviews with respondents, predominantly line managers and HR managers from prominent companies, government departments, and state-owned enterprises. These professionals assessed graduates on various criteria, such as workplace application of knowledge, innovation, and academic prowess, with Eduvos’s graduates consistently receiving the highest scores. Five Eduvos students also secured positions in the Top 100 of this year’s DHL Grad Star Awards.

The Graphic Design students at Eduvos displayed exceptional talent and creativity, earning accolades at the renowned annual Student Gold Pack Awards, further highlighting the institution’s commitment to nurturing excellence across various disciplines.

Breaking new ground in 2022, Eduvos became the first private higher education institution in South Africa nominated to grant its students access to the prestigious Golden Key Society. Over 300 Eduvos graduates have since been invited to join this esteemed global society, further confirming the institution’s dedication to fostering academic excellence and success.

The success stories of Eduvos alumni speak volumes about the institution’s impact on shaping careers. Bianca Lee Burgess, a graphic design graduate, has contributed to award-winning shows like The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian (Season 3), and Black Mirror, highlighting the practical skills and industry relevance instilled during her time at Eduvos.

Louis Oosthuizen, who worked part-time while pursuing a Software Engineering degree at Eduvos, progressed to a Bachelor of Science Honours in Information Technology (Software Engineering). Today, he serves as a Full-Stack Developer, leveraging the diverse programming languages learned at Eduvos to skip traditional graduate programmes and directly enter a developer role.

Suhanna Pitamber embarked on her learning journey at Eduvos with a Higher Certificate in Information Systems (Software Development) and went on to graduate with an ACCA-accredited Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting qualification. Her Eduvos education paved the way for ACCA articles at one of South Africa’s premier audit firms, illustrating the institution’s role in shaping successful careers in accounting and finance.