Reinventing universities

The future of university infrastructure and real estate in Latin America.

In Latin America, a significant number of schools and universities are struggling financially and buildings already need urgent structural improvements. In parallel, many institutions are focusing on the implementation of new business models to accommodate distance learning or a hybrid.

COVID-19 safety protocols are forcing school and university campuses to rethink their designs to include more space, more frequent cleaning and better ventilation, among other measures.

The combination of financial pressures and business model transformation is a potential opportunity for investors, according to an education entrepreneur in Peru, “Many universities in Peru are bankrupt and since there is no moratorium, they will seek to sell themselves. Investment funds do not enter the education sector to control, what they have to look for is a managing partner – something like what Kandeo did with USIL [Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola].”

“Many universities in Peru are bankrupt and since there is no moratorium, they will seek to sell themselves.”

Education entrepreneur, Peru

In Colombia, universities are expecting to receive financial support from government infrastructure stimulus packages, but, like elsewhere in the region, it is still unclear how and when will these funds be distributed.

An experienced executive in the private education sector in Colombia gave us his advice, “I would sell half the University to an infrastructure investor and make hybrid classrooms. The investor owns the assets and the university provides the service.”

“I would sell half the University to an infrastructure investor and make hybrid classrooms. The investor owns the assets and the university provides the service.”

Executive, private education sector, Colombia

The pandemic will also force many real estate owners and operators to reconsider key design and materials elements of their buildings, according to a real estate investor in Brazil, “University campuses should seek to incorporate environmental requirements to integrate health and wellness aspects both in the construction and maintenance of buildings and facilities. Microbial control measures must be considered, for instance by reducing the number of times users touch surfaces in common spaces, switching from porous to solid surfaces, improving air quality solutions etc.”

While most Latin American countries are still combatting a deadly second wave of COVID-19 infections and both stimulus packages and public-private recovery initiatives are yet to be defined, debates on the future of university facilities are still in the earliest stages.

Important Notice
While the information in this article has been prepared in good faith, no representation, warranty, assurance or undertaking (express or implied) is or will be made, and no responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by Deheza Limited or by its officers, employees or agents in relation to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness or reasonableness of this article, or of any other information (whether written or oral), notice or document supplied or otherwise made available in connection with this article. All and any such responsibility and liability is expressly disclaimed.
This article has been delivered to interested parties for information only. Deheza Limited gives no undertaking to provide the recipient with access to any additional information or to update this article or any additional information, or to correct any inaccuracies in it which may become apparent.

Most recent in Infrastructure

The need to restructure infrastructure

Transforming infrastructure in Latin America.

Roseau’s Renaissance

The Roseau Enhancement Project and its complexities in Dominica.

Transforming Brazil’s aviation landscape

Challenges and opportunities in the new growth acceleration programme. 

Mexico’s ‘megareforma’

Balancing public interests and investors' concerns.

Turbulent recovery

Caribbean airports refurbished as international flights return to pre-pandemic levels but regional flights lag.

Smart stadiums

Could technology in use at the World Cup transform Latin America’s stadiums?

Sustainable roadways

Could post-pandemic investment in sustainable road infrastructure plug Latin America’s infrastructure gap?

Aging infrastructure

Floods highlight decades of underinvestment in water infrastructure in the Dominican Republic.

Dollar threat

A strong dollar presents a risk to Colombia’s import-dependent construction industry.

Reinventing the city

Cities across Latin America are investing in urban reform projects to revitalise city centres.