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Citi GPS: Education - Power to the People


By Citi GPS ,

November 18, 2019Posted InCiti

  • In the first Citi GPS report Education: Back to Basics in 2017, we presented data suggesting the value case for education, pretty much everywhere in the world, was still very positive. In short, the more educated a person is the more they can expect to earn. What’s more is it is a win/win: not only does the individual benefit but society more broadly benefits from happier, wealthier, and healthier citizens.
  • But the concern is always that empirical analyses like this can be misleading, that the average outcomes presented as headline conclusions mask wildly different outcomes for individuals and therefore differ quite substantially from the reality of life for ordinary people.
  • With this in mind, the first purpose of this follow-on report is to corroborate our top-down view of the educational landscape with a bottom-up survey of what real people across five key global markets think about education, its role in their lives, the value they think it has given them (or in some cases, hasn’t) based on their experience, and their views on prospects for the future both for them and their children.
  • And having ascertained what individuals appreciate and value versus what they don’t in various markets, the second big question we look to answer (or at least explore potential answers to) is ‘what are the opportunities for private capital in education’?
  • To be clear, we are not looking to identify individual companies in this report but rather the themes/sectors we think will be relevant for private investors when considering their investments and for governments and other stakeholders to encourage investment.

Key Summary Points:

  1. Education is Valuable Most respondents (76%) are satisfied with their tertiary education and would also want their children to attain it. However, there is a noticeable decline in satisfaction levels (64%) among the younger cohort in developed markets. Overall, c.50% of US respondents and 66% of UK respondents said tertiary education was too expensive.
  1. EM Respondents are More Adventurous about Education 94% of EM respondents (vs. DM 70%) have a favorable opinion on Education apps and 81% (vs. DM 46%) of these are willing to pay for it. 47% are also willing to pay for education privately, 65% are willing to study online, and 72% are willing to study abroad.
  1. Lifelong Learning More people now seem to view education less as a phase of life and more as a lifelong endeavor. 79% of respondents thought ‘on the job’ training and professional development is important when considering potential employers. Interestingly 55% respondents thought vocational training is becoming more important even relative to academic qualifications.
  1. Women in Education Overall attainment of university degrees is slightly more skewed to men but not massively so (68% from women vs. 71% for men) – although we should argue that any gap is not justified. Where there is a big gap is in STEM. STEM graduates represents more than 52% of our male sample but only 34% of the female respondents. Separately we note that STEM graduates typically earn a lot more than other majors (previous education GPS report indicates that STEM subjects typically earn 2x average vs. Arts/Humanities – all based on OECD data).
  1. Other things in the Report We include a discussion on Education in the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We highlight 7 key areas for private capital. We include 8 in depth interviews with entrepreneurs, industry experts looking at these themes and the broader educational landscape.

Click here to read the report in full.