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COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on how higher education institutions provide their teaching. © Lee Smith / REUTERS

Over a Billion Students Worldwide Affected to Date: What Will Higher Education Look Like 5 Years From Now?

Social distancing orders help shift education services online

Published on December 23, 2020

Ipsos Group S.A. conducted a survey for the World Economic Forum in 29 countries on how they see higher education being delivered in five years’ time. According to the survey results, in 2025, higher education will be a hybrid of in-person and online learning. Since the pandemic’s inception, about 1.3 billion learners have affected as schools and universities were forced to close, and eventually adopt ‘blended’ learning strategies. These strategies seek to mix online with face-to-face studies. And according to the report, almost three-quarters (72%) of the 27,500 respondents said higher education in their country would be conducted online at least as much as in person, if not more. Meten EdtechX Education Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: METX), New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. (NYSE: EDU), TAL Education Group (NYSE: TAL), Chegg, Inc. (NYSE: CHGG), Perdoceo Education Corporation (NASDAQ: PRDO)

As if to back up that projection, the popularity of online education services, as well as online curriculums by universities, is growing rapidly in emerging markets. A large part of the growth is due to the increasing internet penetration, coupled with mounting use of mobile devices in emerging economies such as China, India, Malaysia and South Korea. Overall, the global online education market size is projected to reach USD 245.9 Billion by 2026, from USD 153.18 Billion in 2020 while witnessing a CAGR of 8.2% during 2021-2026, according to data provided by Valuates Reports.

Meten EdtechX Education Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: METX) announced yesterday breaking news that the Company, “through its online ELT platform, “Likeshuo”, had generated over RMB10 million in gross billings during the 12-day “Double 12” nationwide promotion activity on from December 1 to December 12, 2020.

As previously disclosed, “Likeshuo” remained the No. 1 ELT sales[1] among all language training service providers who participated in the “Singles’ Day” nationwide promotion activity on for three consecutive years in terms of gross billings. During the11-day “Singles’ Day” nationwide promotion activity from November 1 to November 11, 2020, “Likeshuo” generated more than RMB8 million in gross billings.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Chinese consumers have been changing their shopping habits, switching from offline shopping to online shopping. Platforms with strong exposure, fast dissemination, and high user stickiness have become key players in the PRC education industry. The Company is actively developing new marketing strategies and has successfully cooperated with top-tier celebrities in the PRC for livestream promotion of “Likeshuo”. As a result, the Company has achieved significant gross billings during entire “Double 12” nationwide promotion activity.

In addition to promoting through livestreaming involving celebrities, “Likeshuo” is also continuously developing marketing approaches through various third-party channels such as TikTok, WeChat and other short video platforms to quickly seize the traffic entrance through targeted content delivery and efficiently acquiring customers. Currently, the cumulative topic views of “Likeshuo” on TikTok have exceeded 10 million.

Relying on the Company’s powerful omnichannel platform and brand resources, we have been constantly improving “Likeshuo”‘s competitive strengths. It has been well recognized by the education industry, which had successfully entered the “Learning with Guarantee” channel of Taobao Education. As the No. 1 ELT brand on, “Likeshuo” launched the “One-on-one oral English tutor for adults” and “LikeABC” courses, which have become the recommended courses of the “Stressless Learning” section in the “Learning with Guarantee” channel.”

Ranking based on gross billings from November 1 to November 11, 2020.

New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. (NYSE: EDU) provider of private educational services in China based on the number of program offerings, total student enrollments and geographic presence. New Oriental offers a wide range of educational programs, services and products consisting primarily of language training and test preparation, primary and secondary school education, online education, content development and distribution, overseas study consulting services, pre-school education and study tour. The company offers test preparation courses to students taking language and entrance exams used by educational institutions in the United States, the People’s Republic of China, and the Commonwealth countries; and after-school tutoring courses for middle and high school students to achieve better scores on entrance exams for admission into high schools or higher education institutions, as well as for children to teach English.

TAL Education Group (NYSE: TAL) is K-12 after-school tutoring services provider in China. Back in October the Company announced unaudited financial results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2021 ended August 31st, 2020. Net revenues increased by 20.8% year-over-year to USD 1,103.3 Million from USD 913.2 Million in the same period of the prior year. “TAL’s financial results of the second fiscal quarter reflected a combination of the continued strong growth momentum of our online courses and the lingering pressure on our offline business in this period. Although the second fiscal quarter was marked by the extended impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are encouraged to see that the public health situation and general economy began to improve in China, and offline teaching and tutoring gradually resumed during the summer months,” said Rong Luo, TAL’s Chief Financial Officer.

Chegg, Inc. (NYSE: CHGG) announced last year that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Thinkful, an online learning platform that offers professional courses directly to students across America. 85% of Thinkful graduates get jobs in their field of study within six months of graduating their program. “With the anticipated addition of Thinkful to our platform, Chegg will continue to expand our offerings and make it easier for students to accelerate their path from learning to earning,” said Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg. “Students are increasingly looking to improve their professional opportunities by learning the most relevant job skills, either while in school or soon after. Adding Thinkful courses to our suite of Chegg Learning Services will enable us to empower students to obtain in-demand, high-quality job skills, for the fastest-growing job categories, with affordable prices. Thinkful has achieved strong revenue growth of greater than 30% year-over-year because it has focused on going directly to students and helping them gain the most valuable skills for today’s workforce.”

Perdoceo Education Corporation (NASDAQ: PRDO) academic institutions offer postsecondary education primarily online to a diverse student population, along with campus-based and blended learning programs. Last month the company announced financial results for the quarter and year to date ended September 30th, 2020. Total student enrollments at September 30th, 2020 increased 17.2%. CTU’s total student enrollments increased 4.8% while AIU’s total student enrollments increased 37.7%. “The year to date results underscore our commitment to student experiences, retention and academic outcomes and I’m proud of the entire Perdoceo team for their efforts to educate, serve and support our students,” said Todd Nelson, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Investments in data analytics and technology across our academic platforms have enhanced student learning and strengthened the efficiency and effectiveness of our student support processes. Our financial position continues to strengthen and we remain focused on executing against our objective of sustainable and responsible growth.”

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