The digital tech industry is playing a fundamental role in the UK’s economic growth according to the recent Tech Nation 2016 report. With an estimated annual turnover over £161bn and more than 1.56m jobs created over the last five years, it is widely regarded as an invaluable resource to strengthen the UK economy.
One specific tech sector that has proven its worth is edtech (education technology). According to London & Partners and EdTech UK, edtech is one of the fastest growing tech sectors in Britain with a global worth of £45bn – a number that is set to reach £129bn by 2020.
Business is booming for companies that choose to disrupt the traditional ‘top-down’ approach of universities setting the agenda for tutors and students.
James Grashoff, Scientia’s head of sales and marketing, EMEAA, said: “We had a very successful 2015, welcoming 24 new clients across both Europe and Asia Pacific regions. This shows that institutions understand the value of improving the systems which underpin their education programme. As a result of edtech’s increasing popularity, we are focussing on cloud-based applications such as Resource Booker – an application that makes it easier for staff and students to manage bookings online for space, equipment and tutoring sessions – whilst maintaining our support for traditional software installations.”
Edtech is relieving the pressure on institutions as they endeavour to deliver a service that meets the needs and expectations of both staff and students. For example, Anglia Ruskin University, based in Cambridge and Chelmsford, has benefitted from the introduction of Scientia’s Enterprise Foundation, which has increased student and staff satisfaction and improved utilisation of facilities. Similarly, AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand, is also using Enterprise Foundation to deliver flexible and clash-free timetabling.
The demand for edtech will continue to rise as schools and colleges face more pressure to adjust teaching techniques to cater for today’s ‘connected’ learners. It is the responsibility of UK tech companies to supply innovative applications that help institutions deliver a better service to both staff and students.