“India has the potential to become a superpower in the global education ecosystem”

NEW DELHI: Siddharth Banerjee, MD in India and Asia, Pearson has been tasked with strengthening the company’s direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategy and digital proposition in India, and building a direct relationship with the higher education ecosystem across the Asia Region.
He talks about the impact of the pandemic on the sector and the current mega trends he is witnessing. Excerpts:
Explain to us the impact of the pandemic on students’ aspirations for global studies? What does the turnaround look like?
We believe that India has unparalleled potential for new age and innovative learning to become a superpower in the global education ecosystem.
There are three observations I would like to share. First, the impact of the pandemic has reshaped the education and learning space globally and in India, and we have seen some interesting shifts in consumer behavior in the way education is delivered. and received.
Hence the rise of digital and hybrid systems and the era of partnerships in the global education ecosystem.
Second, despite the closures and travel restrictions, students in India are becoming increasingly global in their choices of pursuing higher education and pursuing their dream careers.
We have seen several countries go the extra mile to bring international students back to their universities. Recent industry reports, such as those from RedSeer, also show a similar encouraging turn of events in favor of students. The year 2021 has seen a 121% increase in the number of students pursuing higher education abroad compared to 2020.
Three, specifically, among the preferred countries for higher education, Australia, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have become the main destinations due to the relaxation of visa rules or restrictions of mobility, the availability of scholarship opportunities, among others.
Through strategic partnerships with the Indian government, Australia seeks to become a destination of choice for Indian students wishing to pursue international studies.
Reformed immigration policies in the UK and Canada on work visas have further strengthened students’ aspirations for global education. In a recent report from a UK-based fintech company, there was a 98% increase in study abroad loan applications in the first three months of 2022 compared to the same period of the year. ‘last year.
What are some of the globally emerging mega trends that are yet to come in the Indian Diaspora?
Like most sectors, the education sector has undergone a massive digital transformation as a result of the pandemic, which has led to a significant change in consumer behavior.
The world’s growing dependence on technology has propelled the education system into the digital age and hybrid learning models have become increasingly popular.
There is therefore a demand for innovative modes of education that provide an anytime, anywhere access model. The focus on new, innovative and practical skills has increased enormously. 88% of students want colleges to teach career-focused skills to prepare them for the 21st century workplace.
On the bright side, nearly 90% of women globally are taking steps to change careers and 81% are using the pandemic as an opportunity to re-evaluate their lives and careers.
There has been recent encouragement to boost health education in India, what are the trends the industry is currently facing? How effective do you think it will be?
The healthcare sector has become one of the most critical industries in the world as it was at the forefront during the coronavirus crisis. With online consultations, telemedicine and data analytics, there has been material interest in leveraging technology in this sector.
A recent Deloitte Global Healthcare Outlook report shows that due to changing consumer preferences, rapidly evolving digital health technologies and clinical innovation, there is a huge demand for infrastructure development in the sector, which makes the need to address inherent skills gaps more urgent. .
At this crucial juncture, we partnered with Apollo MedSkills, the educational arm of Apollo Hospitals.
D2C has become a core strategy at Pearson and you will lead it in India. What is the modus operandi to achieve your goals?
Today, thanks to digital technology and accessible infrastructure, education and learning are undergoing a metamorphosis. Our main goal as a digital company is to help build a holistic education ecosystem in India.
With the aim of promoting learning across barriers with our D2C approach, we aim to close all learning gaps. Together with our team, we are leveraging our strengths to fill the workforce skills gap in emerging economies in Asia.
Pearson adds a personal touch to learning experiences by providing consumer-facing apps, consumer immersion sessions, top-notch assessments and qualifications, and most importantly, credible content.