Southeast Asia now has its first EdTech accelerator - Eduspaze has launched in Singapore, with the backing of government agency Enterprise Singapore.
Two separate Chinese K-12 online programming education companies, Codemao and Hetao 101, raised funds.
The sector saw several IPOs - Youdao (a Chinese company listing in the US) and Docebo (a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange). Another, OpenLearning, is reportedly being planned for the Australian Securities Exchange.
Leaders generally perceive existing competitors as the main threat;
Leaders are fairly confident in their ability to increase their non-traditional student population but less confident about external forces such as public confidence in HE and the effect of geopolitical uncertainty on international students; and
Popular ways to respond to increased competition include revamping program portfolios, expanding online offerings, and improving student services and technology. By contrast, cutting costs to lower/maintain tuition was at the bottom.
The National Council of Vocational Education Research (NCVER) in Australia has released a research report on online delivery in the vocational sector. The report found that while completion rates are lower for courses delivered wholly online, employment outcomes were at least as good when compared to other delivery modes.
Inside Higher Ed and Gallup released the results of a survey of US faculty attitudes of technology. Opinions on online education remain divided - those who have taught online are more positive on the medium than those who haven't.
Eduspaze, an accelerator for EdTech startups, has launched in Singapore with the backing of Enterprise Singapore. Participating early-stage companies will take part in a 100-day programme and receive up to S$500K (about US$368K) in seed funding. Applications for its inaugural cohort close 20 December 2019.
Udacity has announced 100K scholarships for low-income Americans to take introductory courses on its platform between 2020 - 2024. The top 10K students will earn a scholarship to one of Udacity's Nanodegree programs.
Youdao, the education arm of Chinese tech company Netease, has raised US$220M in a US IPO and private placement.
Kenzie Academy, a US coding bootcamp, has raised US$100M in debt to be used to finance student tuition. This follows a recent equity raise by the company.
Several themes stood out for me: AI initiatives should be aligned to strategy and broader digital initiatives. It's important to build internal AI capability - and to train executives and managers in what can be accomplished using AI. Depth (from the C-suite down) and breadth (across BUs) of buy-in matter. The process is often iterative, as domain experts provide feedback to fine-tune the AI.
Running through these is another theme - taking advantage of technology requires human and organisational investment as well. It's a message, I think, that is particularly relevant for our sector - both when we implement EdTech, and when we provide the skills that society needs.