Does America’s Foreign Language Deficit Matter? Ask Google Translate

For many years US education officials have lauded the remarkable success of Finland in math and science, where its 15 year-old students have, along with a handful of Asian countries, dominated the global rankings as measured by comparative international PISA scores. US Education Secretary Arne Duncan lamented that US students are one to two years […]

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Chasing China’s Edtech Unicorns: A Cautionary Tale

This article was first published at EdSurge on June 7,2016 There is little doubt that China’s record $1.7 billion invested in 44 edtech companies last year is helping to provide one of the world’s most dynamic education market with increased access quality learning and spurring a movement toward social impact investing. But in the competitive scramble […]

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India’s Race Against Time

To the naked eye, India looks like an oasis in the middle of a wrenching emerging market economic downturn. In 2015 Indian GDP grew by 7.2% with the IMF projecting 7.6% growth over the 2016-17 period. FDI reached a record US$63 billion in 2015, exceeding China for the first time. And despite more recent concerns […]

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Africa, David Ricardo and the Promise of Education Outsourcing

The theory of comparative advantage is one of the most important concepts in international trade.  From 18th century economist David Ricardo’s explanation of why England should produce cloth and Portugal make wine–but not each country producing both– to more modern examples of credit card service centers in Bangalore or iPhone manufacturing operations in China, we intuitively […]

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China’s Next Act: From Hollywood to Harvard?

This article was published in Edsurge on March 21,2016. Could China buy America’s top universities? When this question appeared on Quora a few years ago it was quickly dismissed as unworkable from a governance perspective. But the ambition behind the question remains: If Chinese investors could, they would. What else might China acquire from America’s […]

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Do Emerging Markets Want Their Education Disrupted?

This article was published at Educelerate on March 7,2016. Have foreign education companies “cracked the code” for educating the rest of the world? Earlier this month the online education company Udemy reported that over 10 million students had taken “at least one of its courses” and that growth overseas was surging. While this milestone should be applauded, such a […]

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Edunomics Focus: Pushing into Asia's Education Frontier

With so many emerging market economies and currencies on the boil, it might be counter-intuitive to explore investing in markets that are even less developed. But in the realm of education, there are increasingly compelling reasons to do so. Within Asia, so-called Frontier Markets began as a classification for financial portfolio investors and the indices that […]

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Sinking: How Emerging Market Currencies May Roil the International Education Sector

Emerging market currencies are plummeting against the US dollar. What will be the impact on the international education market?  If we are to judge by the amount of discussion within the industry on this topic, the answer would lie somewhere between not much and who cares. Which may be extremely short-sighted. Recall that the 1997 Asian financial […]

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Rich Student, Poor Student: Education as a Global Luxury Good

In 2004 the late C.K. Prahalad published The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, his brilliant contribution to understanding how companies and investors can help to eradicate poverty among the world’s three billion poorest without sacrificing–and indeed improving upon–their profit-driven business models. In a sense, his ideas were a precursor to the “doing well by doing good” meme as it applies to […]

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