Global education market reaches $4.4 trillion — and is growing

Good news for those who see school reform as a way to make big bucks: A new report says that the global education market is now worth $4.4 trillion — that’s TRILLION — and is set to grow a lot over the next five years.

The report, issued by the London-based investment bank IBIS Capital, said the fastest-growing sector, not surprisingly, is e-learning, which is expected to grow some 23 percent by 2017.

Here’s a graphic with some of the stats that IBIS gave to Education Week:

How fast has the global education market grown in the past decade? Early in the new millennium, it was worth about $2.3 trillion and by 2005 was worth about $2.5 trillion, according to this estimate by Apollo Global.

Some of the reasons for the expansion are a decline in public funding of education around the world, leaving space for private concerns to move in; the growing number of adult learners; and the increasing importance of education in knowledge-based economies. And in the United States, the education policies of former president George W. Bush, and now President Obama, have spurred a trend toward privatization of public education. For more than a decade now, market forces have been driving school reform. Are schools any  better? The real question is how much worse have they become.




Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.
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