Ayala Education, Inc., the education investment arm of Ayala Corporation, announced today that it has acquired a 60% stake in University of Nueva Caceres (UNC).
UNC is located in Naga, Camarines Sur, and was founded in 1948 as the first university in Southern Luzon outside Manila. It is one of the leading universities in the Bicol region, and has approximately 7,000 students, with many well-recognized programs, including arts and sciences, business and accountancy, computer studies, criminal justice, education, engineering and architecture, graduate studies, law, nursing and basic education (K-10).
UNC’s Chairman, Mr. Felicito Payumo, stated, “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.”
Mr. Jesus J. Hernandez, the 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 Pesos 450 million, it will hold the majority of UNC’s board seats. In addition, UNC appointed Ayala Education’s CEO, Mr. Alfredo Imperial Ayala, as its President. Mr. Ayala stated, “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 Corporation started investing in the education sector in 2012 through 100% owned Ayala Education, after recognizing the strong demand for Filipino talent from the IT-BPO and other service industries, such as banking, telecom, retail and tourism. Ayala Education’s 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, and leveraging Ayala Education’s extensive experience in services training.
Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corp.’s Chairman and CEO, said, “We are excited to join forces with UNC. Education is an important priority for Ayala. There is strong global demand for Filipino talent and our vision is to deliver high quality, affordable education that can significantly enhance the employability of graduates, through partnerships with regional leaders such as UNC.”
In Higher Education, Ayala Education has developed a Professional Employment Program (PEP) which delivers a highly differentiated educational experience and significantly improved employment outcomes through the application of learning technologies, constructivist methodologies, English immersion and deep industry partnerships. It has offered PEP since 2012 with its partners, Jose Rizal University, Emilio Aguinaldo College and University of Iloilo, and enabled many college graduates to attain attractive entry-level business employment.
Ayala Education has also been pioneering Senior High School since 2013 through its LINC (Learning with Industry Collaboration) Academy’s partnerships with Emilio Aguinaldo College and Arellano University. When they graduate, LINC students have the skills needed to either succeed in college or enter the professional workforce directly.
Ayala Education has also formed a majority owned joint venture, Affordable Private Education Center (APEC), with Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, to build a chain of low-cost secondary schools that provide quality education with affordable annual school fees. Since it started in 2013, APEC has grown to a total of 23 schools, with 3,400 students across Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite and Batangas, offering Grades 7 and 8 for less than P70 a day, inclusive of use of books and computers.
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