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you are here: Home > Our Expertise > Thought Leadership > Education Practice

Education Practice

Parthenon Perspectives on Education in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries

3.19.2014 by Ashwin Assomull

While the education market is growing worldwide, many investors and operators are focusing on the fast accelerating growth rates across education sectors in the GCC. The education market in the GCC is large and growing, driven by increased demand from the region’s consumers for high-quality education and by a macro-level focus on economic diversification. The main growth drivers of the fast growth are due to:

  • Growing expat population
  • Local demand for international curriculums
  • Increased affordability
  • Supportive regulatory environments
Partner, Ashwin Assomull, has served clients across the region, evaluating major trends and establishing the market size and opportunities. The infographic below illustrates the rapid growth in education in the GCC and areas for potential investors to focus:

RELATED MATERIALS

View Ashwin Assomull's Presentation on Private Education in MENA

IIR's Educational Investment Conference | November 2013 | Dubai

For more on strategies in investing in MENA education, watch Ashwin at IIR’s Education Investment conference last November.

Read Parthenon’s Perspectives on Investing for Growth

Navigating Successful and Sustainable Investments in Education in GCC Region | April 2013

The education market in the GCC is large and growing, driven by increased demand from the region’s consumers for high-quality education and by a macro-level focus on economic diversification. Regulators, investors, and consumers all play pivotal roles in the continued growth in this sector. This report explores the drivers of private education, the market size and growth, and the role regulators play in ensuring continued growth.

Meet Ashwin Assomull

Partner

Ashwin Assomull is a Partner in Parthenon’s Mumbai office. Ashwin advises education clients globally on growth strategies including market potential, market entry, investment decisions, and profit uplift strategies.

UPCOMING EVENT

Middle East Investment Summit 2014

Dubai, UAE | March 26-27, 2014

Partner Ashwin Assomull will cover navigating successful investments in education in MENA
Parthenon Perspectives: Higher Education Partnerships

1.15.2014 by Robert Lytle

The traditional higher education business model is under pressure, and institutions of all types are focusing on reducing costs, improving outcomes, and strengthening the value proposition offered to students. It is becoming increasingly more prevalent for higher education institutions to partner with vendors who can cost effectively help alleviate these pressures. In the documents below, you can see what questions a higher education institution should ask when deciding whether or not it is time to consider an outside partnership. And if it is time, what are the key considerations when entering into the partnership. You can also see Partner and Co-Head of Parthenon’s Education Practice Robert Lytle present on this topic at the Capital Roundtable Master Class.
Reversing the ‘Widget Effect’: The Introduction of Performance-Related Pay for All Teachers in English Schools

1.3.2014 by Matthew Robb, Policy Exchange

The introduction of Performance-Related Pay (PRP) into schools in England can improve teaching and learning, but it must be fair, transparent and reward real excellence. In this report published by Policy Exchange, Parthenon Partner Matthew Robb writes that the best performing teachers could be paid as much as £70,000 a year in a much quicker time frame under a new pay system that rewards excellence, rather than simply the length of time a teacher has been working in a school. While pay in itself is not the primary motivator for the majority of teachers, the best performing teachers should be rewarded for excellence under a fair and transparent system that maintains high quality, developmentally-oriented, performance assesment and apparaisal.
How Can Improved College Services Better Retain Students?

12.5.2013 by Chris Ross

The traditional higher education business model is under pressure, and institutions of all types are focusing on reducing costs, improving outcomes, and strengthening the value proposition offered to students. Amidst this ever-changing landscape, what do students really care about? What services do they value the most during their time from a potential admit to a graduate, and which of their needs are not being met? Parthenon Partner Chris Ross set out to gather a wide range of perspectives on how institutions can continue to improve the overall student experience, surveying students and interviewing university administrators from a cross-section of student service areas. His findings are published here in this new Parthenon Perspectives report, "How Can Improved College Services Better Retain Students?" A key pain point identified by both students and administrators is the financial aid process. This report focuses on the financial aid process as an example of how institution can leverage external partners to improve service to students.
Managing the MOOC Momentum

11.20.2013 by Robert Lytle

MOOCs raise strategic questions for college and university leaders in 2014 and beyond.
Robert Lytle, a Partner and Co-Head of Parthenon’s Education Practice, identifies four
considerations when managing the MOOC momentum:

  • Credit for MOOCs will fit into established processes already embedded in post-secondary institutions
  • All MOOCs are not the same – different plans work for different students and institutions
  • Introductory courses tend to generate surpluses, exactly where MOOCs may be most prominent
  • For highly differentiated institutions and programs, MOOCs are a “marketing nirvana”
See the infographic below for more detail, and hover over each number for the full perspective:
Parthenon Perspectives on Transnational Education

4.16.2014 by Ashwin Assomull, Karan Khemka

The Parthenon Education Practice has been on the forefront of thought leadership in transnational education trends. Through our client work, analytics, and research, we have formed points of view on this topic. Below we have included some recent presentations and articles, from Partner and Co-Head of the Education Practice Karan Khemka, and Partner and Head of the Mumbai Office Ashwin Assomull, supporting our thought leadership in this area. Please follow the links below to view more.

TRANSNATIONAL EDUCATION:
Top 10 Source Countries of International Students for US, UK, Australia, 2002-2011

Karan Khemka Presenting on Transnational Education


Ashwin Assomull Presenting on Transnational Education


An Assessment of the New York City Department of Education School Support Structure

November 2013 by Chris Librizzi

A basic question of strategy and organization for any school system is how to manage and support the schools themselves. The structure for supporting schools in the New York City Department of Education (DOE) has undergone dramatic change in the 11+ years since Mayor Bloomberg gained mayoral control. In the eyes of the DOE, this evolution has aimed to achieve two objectives: to provide every school regardless of its neighborhood with access to high-quality support, and to allow the most important decisions regarding staffing, budget, and curriculum to be made at the school level. Along the way, a series of restructuring plans and organizational designs led to a sense of urgency – and, in the eyes of some stakeholders, instability. Beginning from Community School Districts in 2002, the DOE moved to Regions and ROCs (Regional Operations Centers), then to School Support Organizations (SSOs) and Integrated Service Centers, and is now in its fourth year of organizing school support around approximately sixty “Children First Networks (CFNs),” which provide services related to both instruction and operations for groups of ~25-35 schools.
As the current administration draws to a close, and debate is invited on all aspects of the Children First reforms, now is an ideal moment to take stock of the changes that have taken place to the school support structure and to assess where those reforms leave the system today.
Over the past several months, Parthenon has been engaged by the DOE to make such an assessment. Parthenon’s investigation combines qualitative and quantitative research as well as our own understanding of best practices nationally. The investigation and subsequent report was focused on answering two basic questions:
  1. What are the “core values” of the current school support structure?
  2. What are the key issues that should be considered in an effort to improve the effectiveness of school support in New York City?

Follow the link below to learn more about Parthenon’s approach to answering these questions, and the findings from our research.

The Education Industry 2002-2012: The Era of Resilience

6.11.2013 by Michael Sandler, Steven Pines

Parthenon Senior Advisor Michael Sandler and Steven Pines from the Education Industry Association present the evolution of the education industry over the last 20 years as a trilogy. With the first two chapters behind us, "The Era of Resilience" posits that we are about to embark on the third chapter, in which a sustainable and vibrant education industry will not only exist, but become truly vital and scalable. this paper details the stories of the new generation of entrepreneurs who are exploring new business models and innovative applications in education.
This paper endeavors to capture the stories of those entrepreneurs who embarked on a path driven by new business models and innovative applications of technology and the Internet, and certainly influenced by public dissatisfaction with our nation’s schools.
The Role of Regulators in Private Education

5.1.2013 by Karan Khemka

In developing countries, governments often struggle to keep up with the demands of fast growing labor markets. Public schools find it hard to provide an adequate number of seats and high quality offerings. Private education is proliferating in these markets. Investors, aware of this growth, are keen to tap into the private education opportunity. Private investment in education has the potential to improve standards, increase access and boost the economy. But how can governments ensure these private operators deliver high quality education? Private education also requires engagement and satisfaction of many stakeholders including operators, parents, students, and investors. In what ways can regulators balance these interests while maintaining high quality?
Evaluating Evaluations: Using Teacher Surveys to
Strengthen Implementation

4.23.2013 by Kasia Lundy, and Ross Wiener, The Aspen Institute

Substantial progress has been made in the last several years in establishing meaningful teacher evaluation systems in K12 education, creating the foundation for improving teacher performance. Evaluating teachers is necessary but not sufficient, however, to improve instruction toward the ultimate goal of increasing student achievement. The evaluation reform movement will have failed if these more rigorous evaluations do not translate into system-wide improvements in teacher effectiveness within the next five years. To convert evaluation information into more effective teaching, teachers, principals, and system leaders need to embrace a culture of ongoing, two-way feedback and a commitment to continuous improvement.
Surveys are a critical component of well-designed continuous improvement systems. Surveying teachers to find out how they are experiencing evaluations and what they are getting from them can provide a great deal of information to school, district, and state leadership about how well evaluation reform is being implemented. But surveys are only useful if they lead to change in the status quo. Otherwise, they will be met with cynicism and distrust. Change should be expressed through specific actions that address issues raised by survey respondents, which in turn leads to higher employee satisfaction and engagement with reforms over time. While many states and districts already survey teachers, the results historically have not been used strategically to build employee engagement or create reciprocal accountability between principals and teachers. Conducting surveys or posting the results isn’t adequate, but it’s where most school systems stop.
In this paper Kasia Lundy, Senior Principal at the Parthenon Group, and Ross Wiener, Vice President at the Aspen Institute, explore why targeted well-designed and well-executed surveys can greatly benefit evaluation system reforms currently under way. Additionally they explain how to get the most out of surveys in the teacher evaluation process by identifying several practices that are critical to effectively surveying employees and utilizing the information to improve individual and organizational practice. Lastly, through case studies they show how different organizations have successfully implemented this “virtuous feedback cycle.”
Investing For Growth: Navigating Successful and Sustainable Investments in Education in GCC Region

4.4.2013 by Karan Khemka

The education market in the GCC is large and growing, driven by increased demand from the region’s consumers for high-quality education and by a macro-level focus on economic diversification. Regulators, investors, and consumers all play pivotal roles in the continued growth in this sector. This report explores the drivers of private education, the market size and growth, and the role regulators play in ensuring continued growth.
Serving the 21st Century Learner: In 2012, MOOCs Got Our Attention. In 2013, Universities Need to Keep It.

2.14.2013 by Haven Ladd, Neagheen Homaifar

We have entered the teen years of the 21st century, and online learning is in the quintessential awkward phase. Nothing fits, friendships are tenuous, and there is an incessant fear of missing out. MOOCs are the confident new kids on the block. They have lots of friends, millions in fact.
Post-secondary online learning dates back to the 1960s when the University of Illinois created the first virtual classroom. Since then, online courses from for-profit universities and colleges and programs from traditional campuses have been developed and expanded. Despite this long history of online options, MOOCs grabbed headlines and students’ attention in 2012 by granting virtual access to classrooms and experts in some of the world’s most exclusive institutions, often without costing students a penny. While MOOCs continue to receive the lion’s share of recent press, the ever-growing necessity of an online presence commands the attention of any educational institution – and MOOCs are not the only answer.
Through recent conversations with over 100 post-secondary institutions that deem online learning strategies a top priority, The Parthenon Group – a leading global strategic advisory firm – has articulated five things you should know about online learning.
Education Practice Conferences - 2013 in Review

2013 in Review by Parthenon Education Practice

Below is the list of conferences Parthenon participated in in 2013. To view the video or the presentation for each, click the links below:
Are the Sleeping Giants Awake? Non-Profit Universities Enter Online Education at Scale

10.1.2012 by Chris Ross

The growing presence of nonprofit universities in online education has ignited unprecedented competition for students who once could choose predominantly among for-profit programs. For the first time a school’s brand – and its presumed influence in the job market – is a competitive differentiator for applicants.
Observations from the Field: Practical Reflections on Teacher Performance-Based Compensation

June 2012 by Seth Reynolds, Kasia Lundy

Performance-based compensation in education is not a new concept, but to date it has failed to gain widespread momentum. Recent competitive application federal grants, including the latest round of Teacher Incentive Fund grants, will continue to keep the spotlight on this important and still controversial issue. Why the relative lack of momentum? Is there a future for performance-based compensation in education? How can reform-oriented districts use compensation as a responsible and effective complement to a comprehensive human capital strategy? This brief paper offers our perspectives on those questions based on our experience in the field.
Education Reform for the Digital Era: A New Volume from the Fordham Institute

4.25.2012 by Tamara Butler Battaglino, Matt Haldeman, and Eleanor Laurans

Parthenon's Tamara Butler Battaglino, Matt Haldeman, and Eleanor Laurans co-authored "The Costs of Online Learning" a chapter in Fordham Institute's new volume, "Education Reform for the Digital Era." In "The Costs of Online Learning," Parthenon uses interviews with more than fifty vendors and online-schooling experts to estimate today's average per-pupil cost for a variety of schooling models, traditional and online, and presents a nuanced analysis of the important variance in cost between different school designs. These ranges—from $5,100 to $7,700 for full-time virtual schools, and $7,600 to $10,200 for the blended version—highlight both the potential for low-cost online schooling and the need for better data on costs and outcomes in order for policymakers to reach confident conclusions related to the productivity and efficiency of these promising new models.
Private Universities in India: An Investment in National Development

3.14.2012 by Karan Khemka

In its third report for the EDGE conference, The Parthenon Group examines the current state of higher education in India, and by drawing on international case studies, suggests recommendations for its future development.

In order to support its future economic growth, India needs to grow its tertiary enrolment ratio. This report gives insight to the role and responsibility the private sector could take in fostering such growth and in boosting the country’s tertiary enrolment ratio. The Parthenon Group examines the rapid growth and success of private state act universities in India. Parthenon highlights the value proposition of scale private state act universities for different stakeholders – students, employers, entrepreneurs, and investors.

Finally, Parthenon makes recommendations for policymakers, investors and entrepreneurs that will enable the growth of scale private universities, help drive the tertiary enrolment ratio, and contribute to the nation building of India. This report covers the following:

  1. The Role of Higher Education in Nation Building
  2. The Higher Education Landscape in India and Growth of Private Universities
  3. Private University Proposition for Stakeholders (Students, Employers,Entrepreneurs, and Investors)
  4. Recommendations for Investors and Entrepreneurs EstablishingPrivate Universities
  5. Regulatory Framework to Support the Growth of Private Universities
K-12 Southeast Asia: Seizing the Opportunity for British Schools Opening Campuses Abroad

3.6.2012 by Karan Khemka

Parthenon’s research shows there is a strong link between a country’s tertiary enrolment ratio and economic strength. While the education sector in Southeast Asia is growing, the tertiary enrolment ratio is likely to increase further as income per capita increases. This indicates that the Southeast Asian countries are still in their nascent stages of education development, and as a result, a significant investment in education infrastructure is required for these countries to reach international benchmarks. Even though British brand schools are an increasing phenomenon outside the UK, evidence suggests that they have a mixed record of success in executing these initiatives. This report identifies the critical success factors required to tap into these opportunities. In order to establish a successful branch campus abroad, it is crucial to set and achieve realistic enrolment targets by:
  • Evaluating the target population (expats and affluent locals)
  • Addressing the level of incremental market demand available in the local market, given competition and student or parent preferences
Where Have All the Students Gone? Enrollment Trends in Private Sector Higher Education

March 2012 by Chris Ross

After years of double-digit growth in new student starts, private sector higher education providers encountered a vastly changed landscape in 2011, with total industry starts falling more than 20%. Market participants and investors are focused on a basic set of questions: Where have all the students gone? And when are they coming back? Many hypotheses have been offered on these questions, but – to date – little hard data.
For years, enrollment trends in private sector higher education have followed predictable models. These models held as the onset of the recession led to dramatic enrollment growth, and stayed on-track as unemployment stabilized at high levels. Demographic trends and a counter-cyclical response to the economy were reliable indicators of enrollment levels.
Today, private sector enrollment has decoupled from these historical norms, as the industry is buffeted by both new short- and long-term forces. In the short term, deep pessimism about the labor market and increased price sensitivity are changing the cyclical nature of the sector. These trends are taking place on top of a natural maturing of the industry, as the target demographic is increasingly well-penetrated and signs point to gradually decelerating growth. Companies that succeed through this trying period will need to understand what to expect as the market slowly “resets,” and how to compete in the new reality.
K-12 UAE and KSA: Seizing the Opportunity of British Schools Opening Campuses Abroad

3.1.2012 by Karan Khemka

In order to develop competitive and diversified economies and reduce the dependence on oil, the UAE and KSA require significant reform of the education infrastructure. This is an opportunity for private investors to deploy capital in schools, a sector that can provide sustained and predictable income growth.

Even though British brand schools in the region have seen the highest overall growth, evidence suggests that they have a mixed record of success in executing these initiatives. This report identifies the critical success factors required to tap into these opportunities. In order to establish a successful branch campus abroad, it is crucial to set and achieve realistic enrolment targets by:
  • Evaluating the target population (expats or affluent locals)
  • Addressing the level of incremental market demand available in the local market, given competition
This report quantifies the scale of the opportunity, identifies attractive segments within the K-12 segment in the UAE and KSA and provides guidance on parent and student needs.
Targeted Research on Users of iPD: Key Learnings

2.13.2012 by The Parthenon Group Education Practice; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The importance of effective professional development (PD) for K-12 teachers is widely acknowledged but rarely achieved. The increased emphasis on measuring teacher effectiveness has also increased the focus on meaningful and sufficient supports for teachers to ensure that they are equipped to deliver high quality instruction. The development of new technologies for the delivery of PD, combined with these more intentional and strategic approaches to professional development, have created an opportunity for the development of more “innovative” models of PD.
Much work has been done in the field around teacher evaluation. However, to date, there has been less focus on professional development, particularly around the teacher perspective on professional development. In this study, The Parthenon Group partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to better understand teacher needs related to professional development. Through an online survey and focus groups around the country, Parthenon was able to gauge teachers’ perspectives on the state of professional development today, identify professional development needs that are not being met, and gain insights into how professional development programs should be structured to maximize their effectiveness.
For professional development to be effective, it must move away from the current “one-size-fits-all” model, often delivered through lectures, to a multi-faceted approach. Professional development must communicate content that is relevant to teacher needs and directly applicable to their classrooms, delivered through a variety of easily accessible, interactive channels (video, online, and in-person). It is important that teachers be given the opportunity to collaborate with their peers so that they can discuss and practice the concepts they learn. Finally, professional development should take the form of a single, integrated system: it should be informed by student and teacher performance data and teacher self-assessments, provide real-time feedback for teachers, and allow time for follow-through on what is taught. Such a framework will increase the quality of professional development, and ultimately drive improved student outcomes.
Creating Sound Policy for Digital Learning

1.10.2012 by Tamara Butler Battaglino, Matt Haldeman, Eleanor Laurans

The latest installment of the Fordham Institute’s Creating Sound Policy for Digital Learning series investigates one of the more controversial aspects of digital learning: How much does it cost? In this paper, The Parthenon Group uses interviews with more than fifty vendors and online-schooling experts to estimate today's average per-pupil cost for a variety of schooling models, traditional and online, and presents a nuanced analysis of the important variance in cost between different school designs. These ranges—from $5,100 to $7,700 for full-time virtual schools, and $7,600 to $10,200 for the blended version—highlight both the potential for low-cost online schooling and the need for better data on costs and outcomes in order for policymakers to reach confident conclusions related to the productivity and efficiency of these promising new models.
HBR's List of Audacious Ideas for Solving the World's Problems: Enroll the World in For-Profit Universities

1.1.2012 by Karan Khemka

HBR asked experts and leaders from many disciplines to propose audacious ideas that attack big, difficult problems while improving the economy and society as a whole. Parthenon Partner and Mumbai Office Head, Karan Khemka, and senior research fellow at the New America Foundation and author of How to Run the World, Parag Khanna, co-authored Enroll the World in For-Profit Universities. The segment is featured in HBR's List of Audacious Ideas for Solving the World's Problems.

Recent Reports and Presentations

Learn more about Karan's views on education in emerging markets, watch videos, and download reports from recent conference appearances:

Parthenon's Education Practice

British Independent Schools: International Growth Opportunities

11.24.2011 by Karan Khemka

There are two main opportunities for British independent schools to benefit from the growing demand for international K-12 education in emerging markets: 1) Establishing a branch campus abroad and 2) Attracting international students to the UK.
British brands have a mixed record of success in executing these initiatives. This report identifies the critical success factors required to tap into both of these opportunities. In order to establish a successful branch campus abroad, evaluating the target population (expats or affluent locals) and the level of incremental market demand available in the local market given competition is crucial to set and achieve realistic enrolment targets. To attract international students to the UK, schools need to clearly articulate their value proposition, establish a student recruitment network and manage the potential impact of international student influx on the local cohort of students.

Related Events

International and Private School Education Forum

Presenting: British Independent Schools: International Growth Opportunities

by Karan Khemka in London, UK on 11.24.2011

Presenting: Investing in International K-12

by Karan Khemka in London, UK on 11.24.2011
Parthenon Perspectives: The Role of Community and Private Sector Colleges in Job Training

11.7.2011 by The Parthenon Group

Approximately 26 million citizens were served by federal job training programs in 2009 – an $18 billion expenditure – but only 4% of participants received the type of classroom-based skills instruction that leads to lifelong income gains. America is at the precipice of a serious “skills gap.” The unemployment rate exceeds 9 percent, millions of new college graduates are required by 2020 to meet the demands of the 21st Century economy, and community colleges face significant funding constraints. The public sector has a significant role to play in addressing this problem, but the flexibility and financial capacity of private sector colleges will be critical to finding a solution.
The “New Normal” in U.S. Postsecondary Education

11.1.2011 by Haven Ladd

Higher education remains the United States’ greatest asset and the envy of many industrialized nations. An ever-increasing number of students attend university each year in an effort to develop skills and perspectives necessary to succeed in increasingly competitive global job markets. While the path to success – which includes the tasks of applying to, paying for, and graduating from university – continues to challenge students, running America’s colleges and universities has become increasingly complex for administrators and leaders. The historic models of sustainable growth are being challenged due to increasing financial pressures, a changing student population, increasing competition from new sources, and an ever-present pressure to innovate. Making decisions in this “new normal” landscape requires a strategic balancing of mission-driven growth, financial realities, and organizational capacity.
Investment Opportunities in K-12 and Higher Education in the UAE and Saudi Arabia

10.26.2011 by Karan Khemka

In order to maintain and grow income levels the UAE and KSA require significant development of the education infrastructure. This is an opportunity for private investors to deploy capital in schools and higher education institutions – both sectors that can provide sustained and predictable income growth. To succeed investors should focus on meeting requirements of parents in the case of schools and students in the case of higher education. This report quantifies the scale of the opportunity, identifies attractive segments within schools and higher education in the UAE and KSA and provides guidance on parent and student needs.

Related Events

Building Future Education MENA Conference 2011

Presenting: K-12 and Higher Education: Opportunities for Investors in the Middle East

by Karan Khemka in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 10.26.2011
Understanding the Evolving K-12 Landscape

9.27.2011 by Robert Lytle

Parthenon Partner, Robert Lytle, presented Parthenon Perspectives: Understanding the Evolving K-12 Landscape at the EdNET 2011 Conference in Denver, Colorado.
Next Generation Learning

9.20.2011 by The Parthenon Group

Parthenon’s Education Practice is pleased to share the publication of Next Generation Learning – Defining and Scaling the Opportunity, co-authored by Parthenon’s Seth Reynolds and Tammy Battaglino, in partnership with Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Opportunity Equation and Stupski Foundation. The emerging Next Generation Learning market has the opportunity to fundamentally transform the K-12 learning experience and shift many deeply embedded notions about when, where and how learning should occur. If fulfilled, Next Generation Learning will be a key driver in dramatic improvements to global education systems.
UK Higher Ed - International and Commercial Perspectives on the Post-Browne Landscape

May, 2011 by Matthew Robb

This thought piece from Matthew Robb, a Senior Principal in our London Office, and an expert in our Education Practice, offers a commercial and international perspective on the recent English and Welsh Higher Education reforms.  It draws on Parthenon's global knowledge of Higher Education markets to identify lessons for traditional sector institutions and new entrants.
Post-Secondary School Enrollment: Preparing for the Slowdown

3.16.2011 by Robert Lytle

Amidst all the angst surrounding incentive compensation and gainful employment, many have lost sight of the primary driver of post-secondary enrollments – the economy. The Parthenon Group’s proprietary macro-economic models suggest that much of the swing in post-secondary enrollments is a predicted function of the economy. And yet the full story cannot be told by the economy alone, as many postsecondary institutions are also re-evaluating which student segments they can best serve, revamping admissions processes, and beginning to focus inward on student persistence and graduation. A combination of econometric analysis and business process insight is needed to truly understand what is driving recent—and sometimes wild—enrollment swings in the post-secondary education industry.
Financing Indian Higher Education

3.10.2011 by Karan Khemka, Robert Lytle

A country’s education level is a major determinant of its economic success. Higher tertiary enrolment ratios are strongly correlated with higher GDP per capita and higher standards of living. As a country with the potential to become a major player in the world economy, India must focus on how to provide more of its citizens with higher education so that it can continue (and accelerate) its strong economic growth.
One of the most pressing issues that needs to be addressed in India’s higher education system is affordability. Currently only the wealthiest citizens can afford to pursue higher education, which perpetuates income disparity in the country and stifles economic growth. To solve this problem, India must increase the accessibility of student loans to student from all income levels.
In its second report for the EDGE conference, The Parthenon Group discusses the challenges that India faces in revamping its student financing system, and recommends ways in which stakeholders in this system (educational institutions, banks, and the government) can drive change. Parthenon uses examples from student financing systems in the USA, UK, and Brazil to show different paths to expand tertiary education access in India.
Customized Schooling: Beyond Whole-School Reform

2.1.2011 by Tamara Butler Battaglino, JoEllen Lynch

Parthenon's Tamara Butler Battaglino co-authored "Multiple Pathways to Graduation", a chapter in a book by Harvard Education Press "Customized Schooling: Beyond Whole-School Reform." Here is an excerpt from the chapter, co-written by JoEllen Lynch:
"Throughout our economy and across industries, companies supply a wide variety of products and services to meet the broad diversity of demands from the customers they serve. Consumers have come to expect the almost infinite combination of car features or credit card offerings available. But K-12 education is different. For most students, our public schools offer a one-size-fits-all model. This homogenous approach to education has caused particularly severe problems at the high school level, as many students disengage and opt out of the system entirely. This chapter explores a range of proven solutions that are working, at scale, to offer differentiated solutions to significantly increase graduation rates for student populations with historically high dropout rates. While the chapter will address in detail the specifics of the school models that have delivered these results, our approach of using data and an understanding of student populations to build a student-centric portfolio of school options is broadly applicable across K-12 reform."
Parthenon Public Comment on Gainful Employment

9.9.2010 by Roger Brinner

This study examines the Missouri data released by the Department of Education to estimate the impacts of the proposed gainful employment regulation. These regulations represent an effort to ensure that students attend quality programs and that both students and taxpayers receive good value for their joint investment in post-secondary education. This comment in no way challenges these admirable policy goals; indeed, our aim is to point out that the regulations as proposed may accidentally frustrate these policy goals. In their current form, the regulations are likely to:
  • Cause 400,000 students to leave post-secondary education each year
  • Reduce lifetime incomes for these students by approximately 15%, leading to $400MM in lost annual tax revenues
  • Cause 90,000-100,000 job losses
    Lead to a $5.3B annual burden on taxpayers due to lower tax receipts from students who leave post-secondary education, employees who lose their jobs, along with higher subsidies for public colleges
Race to the Top | Scope of Work: Lessons Learned

September 2010 by Parthenon Education Practice, The Parthenon Group

Having received the well-deserved notification of Race to the Top success, winning RTTT states now must begin a critical set of activities to ensure that bold reform visions evolve into successful implementation. An essential part of this effort is to support LEAs as they develop Scopes of Work that define how they will use their 50% of awarded funding over the next four years to realize the ambitious and bold reform strategies laid out in state plans. Informed by our experience on the ground in districts and states across the nation, Parthenon offers some initial advice to winning states on how to begin this essential work with LEAs.
The Outlook for Education Investing

6.14.2010

This study highlights the evolution of education spending in the UK over the past 20 years.  We also evaluate the likely outlook for education spending in the UK, given the current fiscal deficit.  Finally, we highlight three trends in the UK education sector that, despite the challenging funding environment, are likely to present opportunities for private education companies and private equity investors in the short to medium-term.
Private Sector Post-Secondary Schools - Do They Deliver Value to Students and Society?

3.31.2010 by Robert Lytle

Recently, U.S. private sector post-secondary education providers have come under intense legislative, regulatory, political, and press scrutiny across a myriad of issues. Likewise, discussions in Washington, D.C. have focused on assuring quality outcomes for students by enhancing existing regulations and proposing new ones. Underlying this scrutiny is an apparent belief that private sector educational providers are likely to suppress investments in educational quality and student outcomes in favor of profits. As a result, there has been much subjective discussion around the private sector’s role in post-secondary education with a limited level of objective facts.

In an effort to shed more objective light on the role of private sector education providers, The Parthenon Group examined the following question: Do private sector post-secondary schools deliver value to students and society? Over the past several months, through an analysis of U.S. Department of Education longitudinal studies, industry data, and primary research, Parthenon conducted a rigorous examination of the private sector’s ability to provide meaningful post-secondary outcomes.

The Urgent Necessity to Adjust Federal Cohort Default Rate Standards

2.24.2010 by Roger Brinner

Removing economic barriers to postsecondary education is a primary goal of student loan programs. Despite government-guaranteed student loan programs meeting this goal, current legislation for Cohort Default Rates (CDR) threatens to reverse this progress. Under CDR, institutions are held accountable for a defined standard of loan default behavior by prior students. This institutional statistic is critical for federal funding as it affects the ability of an institution’s future students to receive Title IV funds. A range of institutions are under great CDR pressure. The basis of the threat is that the “Great Recession” is almost certain to more than double default rates. Further threatening students’ ability to access Title IV money is the recent fixing of interest rates, the increase in the cohort default period from two to three years, and the phasing out of the FFEL program. The surge in unemployment and these policy changes
disproportionately affect proprietary schools since they educate traditionally underserved populations with a higher risk of default.

This paper seeks to highlight what causes default and suggest an adjusted CDR that reflects the students served and the economic environment. Academic loan literature suggests that the default rate of an educational institution is dominated by the characteristics of the student body, and not by the public/private or profit/nonprofit nature of the school. Thus, schools tending to meet the goal of serving the disadvantaged will be inadvertently penalized — and their potential students abandoned — if standards for institutional default rates are not adjusted for both student characteristics and the national unemployment crisis.

Investing in Education

7.1.2009 by Robert Lytle

Where are opportunities and how can you capture them?

The Impact of the Education Stimulus on K-12

March 2009 by Robert Lytle

Corporate Reimbursement for Continuing Education in the Current Downturn

3.1.2009 by Robert Lytle

Given the success enjoyed by market-funded colleges and universities over the past decade, both in growing enrollment and generating shareholder value, industry observers have become increasingly interested in the impact of the current economic crisis. One particular focus of attention has been the threat of reductions in corporate tuition reimbursement budgets as companies seek to manage costs by reducing funding for non-core employee benefits.

In response to this concern, The Parthenon Group, a strategic advisory firm, conducted interviews with Human Resources professionals at companies with revenue of more than $500 million. These companies represent a broad spectrum of industries and offered their perspective on how the economic downturn is impacting the funding levels for degree-based program tuition reimbursement.

Recent Presentations on Education Perspectives from Partner Ashwin Assomull

Spring 2014 by Ashwin Assomull

Partner Ashwin Assomull is a thought leader in Parthenon's Education Practice. He has been invited to speak to a broad range of education topics across the world. His latest engagement was speaking to the challenges of student loans and lessons from emerging economies at the IFC International Private Education Conference in San Francisco (see infographic below). Learn more about Ashwin and his perspectives below.

RELATED MATERIALS

Meet Ashwin Assomull

Partner

Ashwin Assomull is a Partner in Parthenon’s Mumbai office. Ashwin advises education clients globally on growth strategies including market potential, market entry, investment decisions, and profit uplift strategies.

View Ashwin's Presentation on International Schools in the Gulf

Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) | March 2014 | Dubai

Ashwin participated in an expert panel discussion at the GESS conference in March on “Understanding the International Schools Market in the Gulf” hosted by The International School Consultancy Group (ISC).

View Ashwin's Presentation on Opportunities for International Partnerships

OBHE: The International Higher Education Revolution Conference | December 2013 | London

Ashwin presented "Opportunities for International Partnerships" at the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE) conference in London in December. The conference focused on current developments in online learning and explored questions on their impact mobility, qualifications, and international networks.

View Ashwin's Presentation on Private Education in MENA

IIR's Educational Investment Conference | November 2013 | Dubai

For more on strategies in investing in MENA education, watch Ashwin at IIR’s Education Investment conference last November at IIR's Educational Investment Conference.

Learn More About Parthenon’s Perspectives on Education

While we bring a customized approach to every client engagement, we observe common themes. From time to time, we share these themes and our perspectives with a broad business community.