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 […]Read More Chasing China’s Edtech Unicorns: A Cautionary Tale
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 […]Read More India’s Race Against Time
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 […]Read More Africa, David Ricardo and the Promise of Education Outsourcing
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 […]Read More China’s Next Act: From Hollywood to Harvard?
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 […]Read More Do Emerging Markets Want Their Education Disrupted?
“No need to listen for the fall. This is the World’s end.” — Rudyard Kipling, Kim During a long, cold flight to Almaty in the late 1990s I sat sleepless reading Peter Hopkirk’s landmark history of the region, “The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia.” My colleagues and I were about to spend the […]Read More Central Asia’s New Silk Road: Game Changers
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 […]Read More Edunomics Focus: Pushing into Asia's Education Frontier
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 […]Read More Sinking: How Emerging Market Currencies May Roil the International Education Sector
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 […]Read More Rich Student, Poor Student: Education as a Global Luxury Good
Asia-based households continue to spend significantly on educational activities outside of school, allocating an average 13 per cent of their total disposable income in 2014. Mercifully over two-thirds of households save regularly for this purpose–though some have been known to plunge dangerously into debt–a fact consistent with past surveys and our own analysis. What is most intriguing about this spending is that it’s not confined to rich […]Read More Asia's Education Spending: Top and Bottom of the Pyramid