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- The macro-economic factors that will drive this growth include relaxation in regulations governing degrees, supply-side capacity gaps, realization of the need for higher education among students and professionals, and transition to the credit system.
Online higher education is emerging as the fastest-growing sub-segment of EdTech, according to a report by Redseer. As per their findings, the online higher education and lifelong learning market is poised to reach ~$5 Bn by CY 2025.
Relaxation in regulations governing degrees is one of the causal factors that is driving this growth forward. Thanks to this, EdTech companies can now partner with universities to offer online degrees. The unbundling of courses and democratization of access unquestionably boost the demand for online higher education and also increases the completion rate. Another growth driver is the supply-side capacity gaps. India has supply-side constraints in education infrastructure (especially for specialized courses). Transition to the credit system as well as the realization of the need for higher education by students and working professionals who are new to the workforce, is further contributing to the boom in this sector.
The market for online lifelong learning also will expand further with “further push after COVID as the economic uncertainty further establishes the need for continuous learning,” the report noted. Apart from COVID, existing skills getting increasingly redundant, job creation lagging behind new additions to the workforce annually, and a mismatch between industry requirements versus education curriculum in colleges are the other reasons for growth.
The report further stated that the user base for online higher education grew by ~75% in 2021, despite a 3X growth in the average ticket size compared to the K12 segment. In fact, the market size for online higher education is now comparable to the largest EdTech Segments (I.e., K6-12 including test prep).
Abhishek Gupta, Engagement Manager, Redseer, said,
“India’s booming edtech market, which saw multiple startups and increased funding during the pandemic, is expecting further boost on the back of growth in higher education and lifelong learning segments. It’s safe to say that online higher education has impressed us all by emerging as the fastest-growing sub-segment.”
The findings also saw that there was a steep uptake in M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activity as well. With millions of young people in India looking to gain access to world-class education and training, online higher education has become a key sector in the Indian education landscape. The future is surely bright for this sub-segment, making it an exciting space to watch.
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