EDUCATE TO TRANSFORM
We integrate academy and management to offer a transformative education to the largest possible number of people, impacting the society in a positive way.
To be recognized as the best option in post-secondary education for students, faculty and shareholders.
PEOPLE EDUCATING PEOPLE
- Focus on the Student – The student is the reason for our existence.
- People & Meritocracy – We value and recognize the merit of our most important asset: our people.
- Innovation – We should create and be audacious, always.
- Simplicity – We should be simple to be quick and austere.
- Results – We pursue outstanding results with passion and method, always acting as “owners”.
- Ethics – We do not tolerate inappropriate behavior.
- Excellence – We pursue excellence in service, both inside and outside the classroom.
- Hospitality – We treat others the way we like to be treated.
Outstanding teaching quality. Our academic model is coordinated by a highly-qualified academic team that operates together with thousands of professors throughout Brazil, who prepare the content of our syllabi on a collective basis, in line with the prevailing trend in the developed markets. Consequently, our syllabi are nationally integrated, updated in accordance with job market demands, and aligned with the regulatory requirements of the Ministry of Education (MEC). Our teaching methodology uses differentiated content and a mix of printed material and online tools produced by our team of specialists and in partnership with the most respected publishing houses in Brazil. The syllabi and content of our on-campus and distance learning programs are identical, thereby ensuring economies of scale and synergies, as well as compliance with the applicable legislation. We make intensive use of technology and monitor the quality of our teaching through the application of national exams to each discipline. We have a highly qualified faculty that benefits from our training and qualification courses, standardized academic programs and predefined teaching tools and methodologies. Cuidamos com atenção do nosso corpo docente oferecendo benefícios como plano de saúde e seguro de vida, patrocínios para produção científica e programas de formação stricto sensu, e programas de remuneração variável para aqueles que se destacam nas suas áreas. All this translates into an advantage to attract students who value our education and innovation and who are willing to pay a premium to receive them.
In 2016, Estácio’s results in the 2015 ENADE were disclosed and, as in the previous year, they reaffirmed the success of our education model initiated in 2010. With 98% of the courses receiving positive indicators, the Group improved in terms of the number of institutions with positive grades (97.5%), with eight of its institutions in the 4 range (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 3 being the minimum satisfactory), including Universidade Estácio de Sá, the Group’s largest institution. The 2015 results disclosed by INEP reinforce Estácio’s commitment, as one of Brazil’s largest education institutions, to balance an operation with more than 500,000 students while delivering academic excellence.
Professional and integrated operational management. Our management model is driven by results and focused on the quality of teaching offered to our students, in line with the pursuit of increased profitability and positive results for the Company. We maintain a management and performance assessment system based on operating and financial indicators attributed to all our unit managers, covering everything from teaching quality through student service to the profitability of our operations, thereby ensuring a balance between quality and results in order to guarantee the longevity of our institution. The same system of target setting, periodic performance monitoring and variable compensation is applied to managers of the back office and corporate areas. On December 31, 2016, we had 267 managers, managers with specific targets and bonuses based on their individual performance, as well as the Company’s overall performance, generating strong discipline and budget predictability, while aligning the interests of employees, Company and shareholders. In addition to the executive bonus program, we have other programs, such as PIQ Compensation (a specific variable remuneration program for faculty members), the Estácio Cup (a bonus program that rewards student enrollment and retention activities, SDV program (Variable Pay Per Performance) paid to course coordinators, and profit-sharing programs for the back-office areas, so that all employees are eligible for at least one of the Company’s merit-based compensation programs. In 2013, we launched the Estácio Excellence Program, which will gather several of these programs under a single umbrella and ensure due recognition and award for good practices in various areas of the Company.
In addition, since we are listed on the Novo Mercado, we adopt best corporate governance practices, and stricter standards than those envisaged in Brazilian Corporation Law. These obligations include: (i) detailing and including additional data in the mandatory quarterly information; (ii) publishing our annual financial statements in English based on internationally accepted accounting principles or on Brazilian Corporation Law, accompanied by an independent auditors’ report; (iii) favoring share dispersal in any public stock offering; and (iv) the non-imposition of qualified quorums for shareholders’ meetings, as well as the adoption of measures that make it difficult or impossible for shareholders to amend the Bylaws. By combining our performance management and assessment system with the exercise of best corporate governance practices by all our staff, we seek to align the interests of our management and employees with those of our shareholders.
Additionally, in accordance with Brazilian Corporation Law and the Bylaws, members of the Board of Directors and Board of Executive Officers may be elected or removed at any time by a Shareholders’ Meeting and Board of Directors’ Meeting. Similarly, members of our Fiscal Council, when and if installed, may be elected or removed at any time by a Shareholders’ Meeting, pursuant to Brazilian Corporation Law and the Bylaws. For additional information, please see items 12.1 and 12.12 of this Reference Form.
Financial solidity and discipline. We have a solid balance sheet, with R$404.0 million in cash and cash equivalents and financial investments on December 31, 2016 and an additional capacity for generating or raising funds, enabling us to invest in growth and the continued improvement of our services. We also have a differentiated financial management process focused on profitability and the quality of our financial indicators, seeking more effective cash generation based on: (i) collection incentives; (ii) greater CAPEX control; and (ii) increased supply efficiency with better working capital, terms and synergies.
Our strategy is guided by the following principles:
Product quality and differentiation. By continuously innovating our academic model, we will continue to develop and provide high-quality university education, with courses constantly updated to meet our students’ needs and profiles, administered by a highly trained faculty using the most modern teaching methodologies and tools in well-maintained and conveniently-located facilities. One recent example was the launch of the Virtual Learning Room (SAVA), which is the embodiment, in the service format, of high-quality customized and flexible mass education. The Virtual Learning Room was designed to meet educational needs inside and outside the classroom. Its features and functionalities include the database of objects, reports and collections , news feed, forum, extracurricular activities, papers, among others.
Service quality and differentiation in our market niche. We are aware that, in addition to obtaining a first-class education and preparation for entering the job market, our students also value high-quality services. We have therefore invested and innovated in order to improve their “experience” of the Company. Some examples of our efforts include: (i) constantly remodeling the system for pre-scheduled student services; (ii) adopting a 24/7 online assistance system; (iii) further improving and specializing our call center service; (iv) and adapting the online service to the mobile format, among others.
Innovating our course offering. We regularly review our on-campus courses based on job market needs and the specific economic development trends of each region. Examples include the recent launch of courses in the oil and gas area to meet increasing demand from the development of Brazil’s oil industry, as well as hotel and tourism courses to meet the opportunities generated by the hosting of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. We are also devising a new strategy for continuing education, which includes expanding our offering of graduate courses and the launch of short-duration courses, including preparatory courses for public entrance exams and specialization courses, which have excellent market potential and can be offered through our existing infrastructure and online and distance learning platforms.
Expanding our presence in the distance learning (EAD) segment. We believe the distance learning segment has strong growth potential, given its attractive prices and greater convenience with regard to commuting, therefore attracting students with lower purchasing power or who suffer from transport problems in regard to attending a traditional campus. We launched our EAD courses in July 2009 and, by December 31, 2016, had reached the mark 145,900 enrolled students. We attribute this success to the quality of our programs as well as the technological and support infrastructure, in addition to the qualification of the professors involved in student support and course coordination activities.
New businesses. We are continually studying new business opportunities in other areas of the education sector and ensure new sources of revenue. On this front, we work on programs with lower regulation characteristics, such as the sensu lato graduate courses and the Academia do Concurso, as well as the corporate education segment, aiming to operate directly with employers in the training and qualification of their employees through customized educational services.
Regionalization of marketing campaigns. Adopt a more regional strategy, with messages that take into account, in greater depth, the competitive and cultural characteristics and especially the brand recognition and strength in each city.
Efficiency and profitability gains. Ensure a culture of compliance with collection processes while managing costs in order to identify margin gain opportunities: (i) greater control to use online disciplines whenever provided for in the syllabus ; (ii) expansion of the offering of telepresence disciplines and; (iii) offering of guided study groups in the distance learning segment.
Perpetuation of our organizational culture and management model. We have been working to preserve and intensify the corporate culture we have developed and implemented in recent years. We believe that a professionalized management focused on quality and efficiency, with hundreds of executives aligned around a single merit-based system, is the main long-term competitive differential in our business. We therefore invest constantly in attracting, retaining, training and promoting the best talent. We have adopted a transparent organizational model with a strong communications element, through which values and ideas are disseminated throughout the Company, thus contributing to the development of our employees. In this way, we seek to develop highly-qualified professionals who are prepared to take up leadership positions, thereby ensuring the profitable growth of our operations in a self-sustainable manner in the long term. Accordingly, in 2013, we opened our own Corporate University, whose mission is to ensure the supply of talent to sustain our growth, as well as to disseminate the principles and values in which we all believe.