Higher Education in developing markets like India are bracing new technology and newer approaches which are building for mass appeal and are being heavily subsidised and supported by the Government apex bodies.Chandrabhanu Pattajoshi
Higher education in a developing country like India can sometimes become unaffordable by economically weaker sections of the society . Having said that the higher education market in India is set to explode to about 75 bn $ USD by 2020. The entire market of education stands at a staggering 150 bn $ USD.
There are more than 70 million (highest in the world) students who are enrolling into higher education every year . Whether this influx is being physically supported by the govt and some apex bodies like the UGC is another question.
But there is massive deployment of funds that is going in from administrative bodies to manage this demand. As per the latest data in FY’17 the Union Govt has allocated close 150 Mn $ USD to handle this staggering number.
For a significant change to happen in the landscape of higher education one of the most critical factor that has to play a pivotal role is the proliferation of the internet infra. India’ s broadband penetration is still at an abysmal sub 10% and the speeds are at an average of 5.6 Mbps. Some of these data sets are relative to other countries but when we look at Y-o-Y growth over our own country we could be doing a 100% jump in certain cases.
There are a bunch of technology players who are making life simpler and easier for large cross sections of the society. Players like Byju, Udacity, Mooc, Udemy etc are solving significant levels of problems in delivering quality education and at reasonable band widths. They are making courses easy to reach each individuals online and making then comprehensible and in many cases affordable.
Even with solutions that platforms like Glossaread the breaking up of chapters of course and reference books is in line with the objective of making the course more affordable and easy . A cluster of e-learning/ digital learning/ satellite / online tutorials etc are occupying the space and students now refer to them actively to pursue higher education.
The concept of making courseware available in bite sizes is increasing and is being adopted more easily. With specific authors and books of theirs its easy for students to search for the prescribed author and look for the book of their course or for reference.
There is an increasing awareness and thereby imminent exploration of the ways today delivery and distribution of methods of education. Government emphasis and support towards such effort levels are high and subsidised on order to make this transition from a traditonal mode of delivery of physical state into virtual state.
Newer methods of delivery like splitting of chapters from books since all chapters of a course or reference books are never needed are getting more visibility and traction and acceptance and are being supported by the publishers of these books.
The good story with the publishers is the support they get towards helping people not do piracy anymore ( 5n $ USD + in a market like India ). Although digital piracy is no less but with the advent of smart systems like ‘non downloadable formats”, non-pdf ‘able’ formats and with efforts like making chapters of books available at costs cheaper than photocopying, it is rather expected that users will look for faster , more convenient and genuine options and not wonder into the zone of “unauthenticated and fake content “ .
Its time we see the change that is brewing and players who are pushing for a change as this, they will see an imminent change in the behavior of the consumer and will hopefully get a huge upswing in the revenue graph, which is quintessential.