Russia’s Untapped Potential: Beyond Hacking

Russia is not an education superpower.  What if it were? This may not be an idle question as the country seeks to bolster its international position–no less under a Trump Administration–and to counteract the perception of either being a state-sponsored hacker or geopolitical bully. Domestically, Russia’s persistent de-population trend over the past quarter century coincides with a global shift […]

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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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Opportunities in African Education: A Brief Glance at the Data

We can only get our continent to have inclusive growth if we are educated and change our   mindsets — Doreen E. Noni, World Economic Forum, 2014 It doesn’t take a great deal of macroeconomic digging to understand the profound development opportunities that are emerging across Africa, which by 2013 was receiving $57 billion in foreign direct […]

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M&A in Asia's Education Sector: Flies and Elephants

“A fly before his own eye is bigger than an elephant in the next field.” Anon. (Chinese) It is tempting to watch the merry-go-round of dealmaking among education entrepreneurs and venture geeks and settle into the idea that one can just can invest into something quickly, build scale and dominate a particular corner of the education market–or, if that […]

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Asia's Brain Race II – Investment Returns and Pitfalls

By 2030 Asia will witness intensifying urbanization, rising disposable incomes, a shift to service sector training needs, millions more students studying abroad (within and outside of Asia), and extended student lifecycles focused on adult and continuing education.  These trends were present first in Japan in 1970s and 80s, then the “Asian Tigers” of Korea, Hong […]

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MOOCs in China – Dream On?

American MOOCs (massive open online courses) have always been geared toward large emerging markets so it is no surprise that leaders such as Coursera and EdX are now hurtling into China. It seems deceptively easy: MOOCs deliver course content from US universities through free or low-cost alternatives. They partner with Chinese University counterparts or ISPs […]

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Where are Asian Households Spending Their Money? (Hint: Education)

By 2030 Asia’s emerging middle class is expected to account for over 60 per cent of total world spending and, if past history is any guide, a significant part of family budgets will be spent on education.  But what exactly? A recent survey by MasterCard profiled 16 markets in the Asia-Pacific over 2012-13 and asked families how […]

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What Multinationals Can Teach Universities Expanding into Emerging Markets

Universities have been around for centuries, and for good reason: they move glacially, if at all. If you were look at a list of the leading American companies in 1920 and try to determine how many have survived to the present day, that number could be counted on both hands. This is not the case for Universities. They […]

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Why Asia’s Real Competitive Race Will Be Brains, Not Arms

In late 2012 the governments of Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia followed a long line of Asian countries in calling for the end of “cheap labor.” This was on the back of China’s tumultuous labor issues at Foxconn and elsewhere, which signaled a push toward higher wages and the need for economic “re-balancing.”  Yet developing Asia’s […]

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