Ayala buys University of Nueva Caceres
THE AYALA group has raised its stake in the Philippine education sector by investing P450 million to acquire 60 percent of University of Nueva Caceres (UNC), one of the leading universities in the Bicol region.
The investment in UNC, which is located in Naga, Camarines Sur, was made through Ayala Corp.’s education investment arm Ayala Education Inc.
Founded in 1948 as the first university in Southern Luzon outside Manila, UNC has around 7,000 students, with many well-recognized programs in arts and sciences, business and accountancy, computer studies, criminal justice, education, engineering and architecture, graduate studies, law, nursing and basic education (K-10), the Ayala group said in a press statement on Tuesday.
“We are delighted that Ayala Education is investing in UNC because we believe that it will help us to further enhance the quality of our education and the employability of our graduates, through industry and technology driven innovations. We welcome Ayala Education as a partner who can strengthen UNC’s leading role in making good education accessible to Bicolanos as envisioned by its founder, former Secretary of Finance, Dr. Jaime Hernandez, Sr., and as nurtured by his children, Dr. Dolores H. Sison (past president), Erlinda H. Ravanera, Jaime J. Hernandez, Jr. and Jesus J. Hernandez, and their families,” UNC chair Felicito Payumo said.
Jesus Hernandez, son of UNC founder Jaime Hernandez Sr., said: “We are very happy to have found in Ayala Education, a partner who shares our values and commitment to nation building, and will ensure that my father’s vision and legacy are sustained and strengthened, and that UNC continues to be a key engine of progress and development in Naga and the Bicol region.”
As a result of Ayala Education’s investment of P450 million, it will hold the majority of UNC’s board seats. In addition, UNC appointed Ayala Education’s CEO, Alfredo Imperial Ayala, as its president.
Ayala said: “We are very pleased to have been invited to partner with UNC, given its 67 years of success, leading position in Bicol and vibrant school spirit. UNC will be Ayala Education’s flagship university, and we are committed to working closely with all of UNC’s stakeholders to build upon its traditions of excellence that have served it so well.”
Ayala Education started investing in the education sector in 2012 after recognizing the strong demand for Filipino talent from the IT-BPO (information technology-business process outsourcing) and other service industries, such as banking, telecom, retail and tourism. The vision is to deliver affordable and high quality education at the high school and college levels in order to equip students with real world skills through co-designing programs with prospective employers while rising on the group’s extensive experience in services training.
Last year, the Ayala group teamed up with UK-based Pearson, the world’s largest education provider, to roll out a chain of affordable private high schools under the new brand Affordable Private Education Center (APEC). It also entered into a partnership with Arellano University to offer a junior college program.
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