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New Trends in Education Will Shape How People Are Learning

October 13th, 2017

Technology is becoming one of the most important tools for education. Education institutions are investing more in software solutions than in technology hardware. M-learning, Bring Your Own Device, gamification and virtual reality are gaining popularity and enabling teaching to be student-centered, while lectures are becoming project- and inquiry-based. M-learning and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) learning are top technology trends in the education industry, reshaping the teaching to make it student-centered, project- and inquiry-based. Possession of smartphones increased from 17% of total households in 2011 to 46% in 2016, while growing internet penetration around the world suggests that possession will keep growing, leading to the even higher importance of BYOD.

Gamification in education is a variety of tools and techniques which combine learning and play in order to engage students and stimulate their interest. Simulation, animation and narrative-based games encourage feedback and social interaction; however, they offer a certain level of encouragement and discipline, thus producing a more effective educational environment. Some of the biggest examples of gamification are Duolingo, an app where one can learn languages, Ribbon Hero, where one learns Microsoft Office, Brainscape, geared towards college students to create their own flashcards, and Coursera, where leading universities put their courses online for free.

Asia Pacific leads the education industry in terms of growth, as well as in absolute value terms. The high share of the youth population, coupled with growing enrollment ratios and strong government incentives, has resulted in the rapid expansion of the education industry in Asia Pacific, and especially in the Emerging and Developing Asia region. Indian educational institutions were the most profitable globally in 2016, whilst China had the largest education industry in absolute terms.

India has the most profitable education industry among the top 18 economies. In 2016, the profitability margin in India stood at 32% of turnover, compared with 16% in Japan or 10% in France, and was seven times higher than in the US. Almost one third of educational institutions in India are private, accommodating 40% of all students. Future Prospects in China as education becomes affordable as the middle-class expands has increased. China will be the pioneer in terms of the absolute increase in the number of middle-income households, with wealth from USD20,000. Wealth is especially important in the Asian region, as most education is funded from savings. In China, the number of adults with an income between USD10,000 and USD50,000 with net wealth over USD20,000 is set to increase by 232% to 187 million in 2025.

The US and Japan remained among the top three spenders on education; however growth was cautious due to the contracting student population and decreasing enrollment ratios. The expansion in revenues came mostly from steady growth in public funding, which might prove difficult to sustain in the long run. In the US, demographic change presents a drag on demand, resulting in closures and increases in tuition fees, and encouraging a movement to distance learning. The slowdown in the expansion of the middle-class and rising tuition fees make higher education unaffordable.

Most developed countries experienced shrinking public expenditure on education over 2011-2016. However, Iceland was able to resist the negative trend and showed a CAGR of 7%, having one of the highest levels of public spending among developed countries. Although many could argue that its successful performance is simply the bounce-back after the financial crisis of 2008-2011, when public funding diminished abruptly (and they would be partly correct), this cannot explain the consistently high per capita support for the last 15 years. Following the Scandinavian education model, education in Iceland is free of charge, while the education system is valued as one of the most efficient in the world.

In higher education, key trends are personalized learning, micro-learning, and high-velocity training. Online, weekend, and evening courses are ways universities can personalize learning and retain the dropping enrollment rates, since an increasing number of non-traditional students are requiring greater flexibility. Large lessons are being split up into several smaller videos in order to take advantage of flexibility and short attention spans. This is because videos of 90 to 120 seconds contain the amount of information to make it easier to retain and process. Training through problem-discovery and virtual reality will become a major way people learn.

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