Which Country Is Leading the Edtech Movement?
Technology has the potential to enhance global education, but which country is leading the edtech movement?
Let’s look at a few contenders.
The United States
Currently, many would say that the United States is the leader in edtech. According to the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), the U.S. edtech market is worth over $8.38 billion dollars. And in 2015, 60% of the money invested in edtech was invested in the United States.
The country’s population size, large economy, and tech and innovation hubs such as Silicon Valley contribute to edtech’s success in the United States. The U.S. has pioneered advances in edtech and its implementation, spearheading active—rather than passive—use of technology in the classroom.
The United Kingdom
In other developed nations, such as the United Kingdom, edtech also has tremendous growth potential.
A report by EdTech UK suggests that there are now over 1000 edtech companies in the UK, with at least 200 based in London. The UK is also home to a strong education sector and Europe’s largest tech cluster, indicating that there’s still much room for growth in the edtech industry.
Although the United States might be leading the edtech movement currently, Asia has become the fastest growing e-learning market in the world.
In 2016, according to Goldman Sachs, global investments in Chinese edtech companies increased to $1.2 billion. In the future, China’s edtech industry is expected to grow 20% annually.
Meanwhile, in India, the online education market is set to quadruple over the next four years, ultimately rising to more than $1.96 billion.
Future valuations suggest that the entire Asia-Pacific region will represent 54 percent of the global edtech market by 2020.
- More than 600 million students are enrolled in K-12 schools in Asia, and Asia has more young people than anywhere else in the world.
- Asia’s population is education-fixated, and families are willing to invest substantial amounts of money in their children’s education. (Tutoring in China is poised to grow to a $90 billion industry, and parents in Singapore spend $70,939 annually on their children’s education, roughly double the global average.)
- The government’s 13th Five-Year Plan aims to modernize China’s education system, investing $1.07 billion in edtech startups in 2015 alone.
- Key foreign investors are funneling large amounts of capital into supporting edtech in the region, along with Chinese tech giants.
And although Internet access has been an obstacle, about 53.1 percent of China’s population is now online, and this number will continue to grow in coming years.
In Latin America, the e-learning market has grown by over 14 percent annually since 2013, and this development is likely to continue.
As in Asia, investors are taking notice and spending capital to support edtech. The region has also adopted numerous educational policies that encourage digitalization.
Latin America is now the fourth largest edtech market in the world, behind North America, Western Europe, and Asia in terms of revenue.
When it comes to the edtech market, Israel deserves an honorable mention as well. Although it’s a smaller country, it does boast a very strong tech sector.
Israel also hosts the “EdTech Israel Summit,” and the country has potential to be an innovator in the increasingly global edtech market.
While the edtech movement is growing rapidly in developed countries, other nations are falling behind.
In Africa, for instance, millions of children don’t receive a basic education due to poor educational policies and child labor. Additionally, only 29 percent of the continent has permanent access to the Internet.
On the plus side, access to mobile broadband is increasing around the world, providing educational opportunities to even undeveloped or remote areas. Already, Africa is one of the fastest growing markets for mobile phones, and mobile edtech is becoming an innovative way to get an education.
Over the next several years, the global edtech market will continue to grow, ideally benefiting schools and students around the world.