Published on  by Viggo Stacey

Hospitality and culinary arts school specialist Sommet Education has acquired a majority stake in South African private education operator Invictus Education Group.

Invictus’s businesses include the International Hotel School and its online counterpart, hospitality and gaming school IHS Gaming, creative media specialist SAE Institute, and the training provider SUMMIT brand. Photo: Unsplash

he announcement will increase the number of Sommet’s campuses from nine to 17 and grow its students from 6,000 to 9,000 students. It marks the start of a rapid expansion plan in South Africa and further pan-African developments, according to the provider.

The partners have revealed plans to develop an International Hotel School campus in 2021 and a SAE Institute campus for creative media education, opening in 2022, in South Africa. These will be followed by four other campuses in South Africa along with a first Kenyan campus opening in 2023.

“Invictus Education Group is an amazing success story in the African education landscape,” CEO of Sommet Education, Benoît-Etienne Domenget, said.

“With a 25-year history on the continent, a diverse portfolio of hospitality education institutions, a very strong digital program portfolio, a highly experienced team and a robust management, a national footprint and strong pipeline, Invictus has the potential to further carry all our ambitions in the region and beyond.”

“We will be able to provide our students with access to a worldwide network of alumni and industry partners”

Sommet Education is the international partner Invictus needed to support its vision and expansion plan, Invictus founder and CEO, Mike Lambert, added.

“This alliance also means that we will be able to provide our students with access to a worldwide network of alumni and industry partners with diversified learning paths and careers, with even more opportunity to learn and thrive internationally.”

The new International Hotel School, delivering full-time programs in hospitality management, food and beverage management and culinary arts as well as online learning options, is set to open in Benoni, South Africa, in July.

Other campuses in South Africa will be in Nelspruit, Potchefstroom, Port Elisabeth and Pretoria.

In 2019, Sommet Education invested in professional culinary and pastry art education provider École Ducasse, with which Sommet currently operates nine campuses in five countries – Switzerland, France, Spain, UK and China.

The two new partners will also look to implement synergies in four key areas:

  • curriculum building and faculty expertise to support the expansion of Invictus’ bachelors degree on which Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches (part of Sommet Education) have built their reputation
  • further development of culinary and pastry arts portfolio of programs relying on the know-how of École Ducasse
  • Invictus bringing its knowledge and experience of B2B training, development and business consulting from its Summit brand
  • both partners will work together and share their knowledge, experience and vision on online education programs and platforms