By: Mr Aditya Malik, CEO and MD, Talentedge
In my view, 2020 has been a year of seismic change for the future of education. It has contributed majorly to a shift from traditional classroom led education to hybrid learning and in some cases even full-service digital learning. The trend isn’t just in learning but also in the mindset of employers and companies and I expect this to continue to get stronger.
What it will also bring is new product interventions and new technology-led solutions that will solve newer challenges and more importantly lead to greater inclusivity in Higher Education. A vision that we chase passionately at Talentedge as well.
In fact, looking at the spike in admissions and enquiries even from Tier ll and lll cities, the growth is estimated to be in the high double digits, if not more. Backed by an enhanced experience that works more efficiently and effectively, Ed-tech is clearly changing the way the world studies. I am not just saying this for K-12 or Test Prep but even Higher Education and Continuing Education as segments where the impact on India’s Gross Enrolment Ratio will be rather significant and truly transform the nation.
Owing to rapid internet penetration and online courses offering low-cost alternatives to offline learning, the Ed-tech industry in India is likely to not just grow but have a stellar future ahead.
For me here are some key trends that can truly redefine higher education and therefore the future of India.
Progressive Education Policy and government support:
In 2020, through the National Education Policy (NEP2020), the Government of India gave full recognition to Online Degrees and allowed the NIRF top 100 Universities of India to launch Online Degree programmes in select domains. The impact of this policy shall be felt massively as it drives Inclusivity in Higher Education. People are surprised when I mention to them that India has just 27.4 per cent Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education. This is due to a) lack of access and b) lack of quality teachers.
Imagine if we can all drive this inclusivity with support from the Government of India and help the nation reach a GER of 50 per cent by 2030. The future for the nation will be for all to see. Therefore, to me, the biggest trend in India’s higher education is the progressive policy-making that I am seeing from the current government.
Domain-based Online upskilling and continuing education
It is being projected that courses in Marketing, HR, Leadership and Strategy will be the larger plays from an executive and continuing education perspective as they form the larger chunk of jobs available. Analytics, Blockchain, Machine Learning/AI will continue to gain wider acceptance and hence the demand for these courses will also continue to spike. What we shall also see is that companies will now hire for domain skills a lot more, and they shall be more accepting of online certifications and learners who are extremely high on skills through online courses.
Now, more than ever, games and simulations are being used as educational tools to make the learning more immersive and entertaining at the same time. In my opinion, gamification, as well as simulations, help massively with the way learners absorb things and react to new learnings. Educators, as well as learners, are both very excited about the possibilities it presents since it allows every learner to participate, which is sometimes very difficult to achieve in the classroom scenario.
Hyper personalisation of content and data using Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is truly a trend that shall become mainstream for the hyper-personalisation of learning. What this means is that based on the learning ability as well as the kind of content that is triggering better learning, content shall be pushed to learners so that they learn better thereby enhancing the applicability of the learning to their workplaces when they join work. This is a possibility that only tech-enabled online learning can provide.
Described as the distributed ledger technology, Blockchain assures transparent and secure applications that can be used by students, employees and employers to verify educational records irrespective of the provider or the location. Blockchain technology is being used everywhere transactions occur between parties, including educational institutions that hold vital student data. While these are just basic applications of blockchain technology in education, more uses are surfacing as the intensity grows with each passing day.
Immersive learning using AR, VR and XR
Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality(VR) and Extended reality (XR) have the potential to truly disrupt higher education across the world. They are already becoming more cost-effective and more stable as technologies and their applicability across all segments of education have fantastic use cases.
While there are many more trends I can talk about, in my view, these trends by themselves have the potential to offer fantastic, personalized, AI-powered digital learning that will make learning more inclusive in the higher education sector of India. As EdTech continues to gain ground, it is sure to provide the best learning and teaching services in the years to come.
Cutting edge technology is already finding great use cases and has the potential to truly alter the economic and business landscape not just in India but across the world and allow this new, confident and highly resilient nation and its people to conquer many more domains across the world. For me, the inclusivity that these trends can drive can redefine India’s place in the world and provide a better quality of life to millions of Indians.