Unbundling the University

By: Bank of Baroda
Wed Nov 11, 2020
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Universities are facing new competition from start-ups, even before the pandemic. Start-ups have been targeting the traditional university from degrees to hostel living to job placement and more. According to data from RedSeer, India’s total addressable markets for the two segments –higher education and lifelong learning – are expected to grow from $400 million and $100 million in FY20 to $3.6 billion and $1.2 billion respectively in FY25.

Being such a high potential market, each segment of it is ripe for disruption. To start with, companies such as NoPaperForms, AdmitHub look to replace or enhance typical university admission functions like guidance, enrollment, etc. LeverageEduuses AI to help students in their careers through mentorship products, end-to-end college admissions guidance, programmes to help get first-job ready, as well as one-to-one virtual career advisory for multiple career streams.

As the pandemic pushes many students online, companies are targeting the online lecture experience to produce higher-quality remote classes. Platforms such as TopHat, Everspring, and Noodle Partners help professors at higher education institutions design more engaging online or hybrid courses. Class for Zoom and Engageli are recreating the classroom experience for online classes. Start-ups such as Examity and Proctorio provide exam invigilation for traditional classroom-based Institutions & Online Programs.

In India, student rental and living start-ups such as Oxfordcaps, Zostels, Zolo stays are disrupting the student hostel market. Another start-up called Stanza Living is a tech-enabled student housing concept which is re-imagining student living experience in India in-line with evolved hospitality sectors like hotels and serviced apartments.

Other examples include, start-ups like France-based Studapart which help students source and rent housing. With many dining halls operating at a lower capacity due to the pandemic, companies like unicorn deliver food and convenience store purchases to college campuses.

Then there are start-ups that are working in the area of networking and job placement. Fullbridge aims to prepare students with real-world skills like data analysis, problem solving and teamwork across bootcamps and courses, while AstrumU helps students figure out how their classes and internship experiences translate into careers. Companies like Handshake and Reculta act as campus recruitment tools, pairing students or recent alums with potential job opportunities.

Apart from these, there are many Edtechs providing knowledge on all the fields a student would be interested in. For those willing to learn, there is no dearth of higher education available online. The university is being disrupted across many of its core functions and revenue streams.

Credits : Akhil Handa

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