John Schooling

John Schooling

I studied at Stellenbosch University and obtained a Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology and co-founded STAG African in 1985 as a construction and property development company operating out of Cape Town South Africa. In 2008 we identified student accommodation as an asset class, but realised that the provision of greenfield student accommodation was unaffordable to most students in South Africa and Africa. This led us to pioneer an affordable, innovative and sustainable alternative to world class student housing based on 8 defining principles, namely Community, Sustainability Innovation, Technology Transformation, Job Creation (especially youth training and employment, transformation and Affordability which we attain through a combination of Optimal Architectural Design, Product Innovation and Access to Grant Funding (without some form of subsidy or grant most African students can barely afford the operating let alone the capital cost of new student housing.) We believe that this will lead to a complete disruption in the construction industry in Africa which to a large extent still believes that bricks and mortar equates with quality. Student accommodation is a critical component of student success. Research has found that students living in well-designed accommodation on or close to campus have a 80% less chance of dropping out , especially in their first year. If Africa is to compete with and contribute to the global economy, it is essential that we increase our graduates from 5% of the total population to closer to 20%. By 2050 it is estimated that not only will 1 in 5 people in the world will live in Africa, but that Africa will continue to be the youngest continent. This is a wonderful opportunity to develop an educated population that can be of service to and sell its skills to an aging world.

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