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How EdTech Platforms Are Preparing Students For Higher Education And Study Abroad During The Pandemic

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Karunn Kandoi, heads business operations for Apply Board- India and serves on its board along with other public limited Ed-tech companies

The education sector embraced the changes brought upon by the global pandemic by swiftly accommodating the adoption of digital platforms. Digital transformation was critical in 2020, not just for the continued education of students during a time of unparalleled disruption, but also for the educational institutions to growth and thrive. In an effort to do everything they could to ensure the learning experiences of students were not compromised, educators welcomed the new norm of remote and blended learning with open arms. As a result, EdTech experienced a push to grow and its adoption surged.

The pandemic's impact on the Indian higher education and studying abroad market
Amidst the pandemic outbreak in India, approximately 32 crore students were forced to stop attending learning institutions, interrupting their studies. The higher studies segment had a significant share of this.

Admissions, entrances, examinations, and every activity within the education sector had come to a halt. Social distancing measures and lockdowns crushed the dreams of various students who envisioned studying abroad. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, only around 2.6 lakh students went abroad in 2020 compared to 5.9 lakh students in 2019.
The education sector entered its fourth stage of revolution in 2020 where EdTech platforms were viewed as an essential tool instead of assistive. EdTech platforms gained prominence and emerged as the go-to option for a seamless teaching-learning process, as well as overall access to information. Tech-driven educational experiences were accepted to be the primary method of teaching, in fact, Indian EdTech start-ups received funding of approximately $2.22 billion last year.

EdTech platforms preparing students for higher education and studying in abroad amidst pandemic times
EdTech platforms helped students to continue their educational journey despite the pandemic’s barriers. To cater to the rising demand of students and cope with industry changes, various online learning platforms started offering the most required high-end content and services so that the students could learn with ease in the digital space.

With the help of EdTech platforms and applications, learning institutions started organizing digital orientations, lectures, and training sessions that offered swift communication and seamless teaching-learning experiences. For those interested in studying abroad, EdTech platforms also offered help with visa applications, the immigration process and navigating international job opportunities. Not to mention the universities and colleges in Indian and abroad allowed students to start their degrees and diplomas while remote. This wasn’t ideal, of course, but it still allowed students to not lose valuable time.

While there was a dip in the number of Indian students applying for global studies last year, nearly 70,000 students went abroad in the first two months of 2021. This count continues to rise thanks to the help that EdTech firms offer to students during these turbulent times.

Considering the crisis-induced instability, assisting students has become an integral mission of EdTech platforms. Many of these firms help students throughout the admission process and offer online counselling. EdTech platforms aim to simplify the lives of students by offering a platform that help them find and discover the best programs and information that suit their preferences and needs.

It’s no question that EdTech firms have modernized the educational process. Blending learning offers flexibility, convenience, and interactivity which fosters engagement, productivity, and greater attention spans. It also offers students the opportunity to access personalized, customized, and self-paced learning. EdTech platforms not only help make the learning process easier and smoother, but also helps students achieve their dreams of obtaining a global education. There needs to be that continued emphasis on helping the student. Helping them learn, discover and thrive during their educational journey and doing so in a way that is tailored to their needs and goals.

Summing Up: The road ahead
As per the IBEF report, India is one of the second-largest e-learning markets and is also known for possessing one of the largest higher education institutions in the world. The report also points out that the sector is projected to hit the $1.96 billion mark by the end of 2021 with approximately 9.5 million users. The report further states that the Indian EdTech market is expected to be valued at $10.4 billion by 2025. These statistics depict that the future of the India EdTech market is rapidly growing, and it will be interesting to see how blending learning continues to advance and scale in the years to come. The innovations that has happened during these times are path breaking in many ways and would continue to evolve and help learners for decades.