The Costs of Digitizing Education
Institutions and students bear the brunt, but opportunities are considerable.
By suddenly shuttering in-person education and forcing classes online, the COVID-19 pandemic threw the costs of education’s digitization into stark relief, from the standpoint of absolute expenditures as well as price/value. Media headlines have publicized online education’s perceived failures as learning outcomes are called into question, students in higher education rebel against tuition rates for the sudden shift to digital learning, and institutions claim heightened costs. We suggest, however, that long-term investors resist what can be a myopic view of the costs of education’s digitization and instead take a wider perspective that acknowledges the traditional system’s challenges and how technology can improve outcomes and economics. Through this lens, we believe the challenges and opportunities faced by the companies we cover--including John Wiley (JW.A), New Oriental Education (EDU), Pearson (PSO), and TAL Education (TAL)--become more evident.
Zain Akbari does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.