Anyone who has looked at the news over the past few weeks will have seen interviews with miserable-looking freshers, forced to isolate in halls of residences, wondering whether they’ll be allowed home for Christmas, and placing plaintive (and often hilarious) messages in their windows. Meanwhile, increasing numbers of universities are announcing they are suspending face-to-face teaching. As exciting as university can be, you can’t really blame the students for wondering what they’re doing there, especially with so much teaching being done online right now.
You don’t need to have read Ellie’s excellent piece on the e-learning sector (although, seriously, you should) to realise that the e-learning and edtech sectors are experiencing a boom right now, and businesses targeting higher education are at the forefront. As the CEO of one start-up told me the other week – “we’ve gone from a minority sport to being absolutely front and centre of every institution’s strategic thinking”.
It’s not just domestic students who need to be catered for. For years, western university systems have been financially heavily reliant on international students. That flow hasn’t quite