UGC's Warning: A Wake-up Call for Ed-Tech Firms
The Ed-tech firms have garnered huge popularity in the wake of the pandemic and opened new spheres for upskilling the students through certificate courses and other such venues that have empowered them in accessing new and premier employment opportunities.
The Ed-tech firms have garnered huge popularity in the wake of the pandemic which has contributed to immense growth for the above sector. The Ed-tech has opened new spheres for upskilling the students through certificate courses and other such venues that have empowered them in accessing new and premier employment opportunities.
However, the recent warnings by the Govt regulators - UGC- have created a state of worry in the minds of the benefactors of Ed-tech firms i.e. the education providers and ed-tech firms, as it conveyed the caution to the higher educational institution that offers online distance learning, regarding their tie-ups with ed-tech in offering courses on the institutions be-half. According to Abhinav Mital, the Founder of The WorldGrad, a leading Ed-tech firm," This worry is unfounded as the response of the government is not against the Ed-tech firms, which complements a student's learning journey, rather it is a reaction to the misleading and aggressive marketing campaigns undertaken by some ed-tech platforms to further their business aspirations and credibility".
It has been observed that a few Ed-tech platforms advertise and project the courses that are being offered by them in accordance with regulated degrees and diplomas to a certain extent. Another major point of concern is the usage of terms like degree or diploma to refer to non-accredited programs like short courses and certificates, both of which create misinformation among the students.
According to The WorldGrad ", we do not believe that there is any intention within the govt. or regulators to clamp down on the large ed-tech sector, however, we see this as a reminder to both education providers and techs to be more responsible in their approach to marketing and student recruitment "The young and heavily funded Edtech unicorns that have gained prominence in the last 2-3 years, has been over-enthusiastic and creative in its advertising approach to perform and chase growth and hence needs to self-regulate through better marketing and advertising practices. At the same time, partner institutions or providers of education also have to play a bigger role.
The techs have given most of these institutions a wonderful revenue and student pipeline; many ed techs also manage a large part of the student experience, thereby easing off the workload for these partner institutions. In return, the partners should also review and audit how their programs are being offered in the market. They should be at the forefront in moderating marketing practices and ensuring that the right message is being delivered to the prospects."
Though parallels are being drawn with respect to the Chinese crackdown on for-profit education, such claims are baseless and highly unfounded in the Indian context. . This is merely a wake-up call to the education community, reminding each of them of their obligations which have come at the right time.
About the Author-
Abhinav Mital is the Founder of The WorldGrad, Alumni of ISB Hyderabad, and IIT Delhi, Abhinav comes with nearly 15 years of experience in the education sector and was a founding member and former Partner of Parthenon-EY's international education practice. Previously, he has worked with various global higher education institutions on growth strategy, international expansion, and improving student experience as well as advised PE investors, publishers, education organizations, and Edu-tech ventures.