How Is the Australian EdTech Industry Expected to Grow?

Edtech in Australia is booming, and there are a few key trends to watch out for. Here’s the inside scoop on an industry that’s almost doubled in size in the past two years.

What are the trends and benefits?

According to edtech consultant Andrew Roberts, a number of trends are already showing up, including video-based learning, high quality content consumed in shorter sessions, mixed reality and blended learning are improving learning outcomes, and online learning platforms are becoming more mainstream. Roberts also cites the following benefits of edtech in general:

  • Supporting and improving the provision of online learning
  • Allowing connections with customer segments that are not easily engaged in classroom learning, such as adult learners with established careers
  • Supporting large-scale improvements in labour productivity, particularly for non-classroom based education
  • Enabling assessment at scale and with integrity
  • Increasing student engagement and retention
  • Enabling personalised and adaptive approaches to learning
  • Facilitating lifelong learning

“The market is expected to grow significantly amidst increasing student demand for education services and technology innovation, competition amongst institutions, and decreasing acquisition costs,” Roberts says.

How will edtech grow?

Some experts are calling edtech “the new fintech,” with digital tech transforming today’s classrooms and launching education into uncharted virtual territory. It is estimated to grow to $1.7 billion by 2022. But researchers believe it will grow in a specific direction. Edtech company Promethean’s State of Technology in Education Report found that edtech adopters have preferences on how it should be used: “We found that 95% of our respondents believed that technology is a great way to engage students, and among the most commonly accessible technologies for educators were handheld tablets (94%) and interactive front of class displays (91%).” Teachers will help shape the future of edtech more than anyone.

Edtech venture capitalists believe there’s a big opportunity for the next generation of large-scale education companies that wasn’t always present, due to market challenges related to infrastructure, capital, and talent.

“Given the attractiveness of the sector, we are now seeing more talent entering the education space; a rapidly growing market for compelling international opportunities; and more companies at the intersection of education and other major sectors,” says Ian Chiu of Owl Ventures. “We believe that COVID-19 and the dramatic adoption of digital education during this time marks a profound turning point and acceleration in the market for education technology.”

In fact, over 15 per cent of Australian startup founders are targeting the education industry, making it the second largest industry vertical being targeted by startup founders nationally, according to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (ATIC).

With over 1,000 online education providers, Australia has seen online learning grow rapidly in the past five years. “Technological developments and increasing positive public perception of online courses have been vital to this growth,” the ATIC reports. “Education institutions have harnessed the greater reliability of internet connections and mobile technology to deliver to more students. The trend towards reskilling and lifelong learning is also expected to support growth in flexible methods of study, such as online education.”

Edtech is expected to grow even more rapidly due to the circumstances and demand surrounding COVID-19. It’s now easier than ever to learn when you want, where you want–and to receive high quality education while doing so. Keep an eye out for groundbreaking innovations in the next few years.


Saga Briggs is an author at InformED. You can follow her on Twitter@sagamilena or read more of her writing here.

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