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Emerging HE edtech companies top 50 charted

A new list compiling the top 50 emerging companies in higher education edtech has been released, featuring Outlier, Labste, and Unibuddy, among many others.

50 players from across continents were featured in the new list. Photo: Emerge Education

Emerge launched the top 50 with a live open session on LinkedIn chaired by Mary Curnock Cook

The HE Emerging Global Top 50 is listed by category, which include experience, employment, new markets and research and was set up by Emerge Education with collaboration from Jisc.

“Higher education edtech is a busy space and it can be hard to keep up with the innovation in the sector,” said Nic Newman, partner at Emerge Education.

“Members of our Emerge HE advisory board told us that keeping up to date with the best-emerging companies in edtech for HE was difficult, confusing and overwhelming,” he continued.

Emerge launched the top 50 with a live open session online led by Mary Curnock Cook, chair of the Emerge HE advisory board, interviewing two of the top 50’s founders to “highlight best practice”.

“It can be hard to keep up with the innovation in the sector”

In the experience category, emerging names like digital education pioneers Minerva, university course “supercharger” Podium Education and digital credentialing specialists Credly were featured.

In employment, digital skills platform Pathstream and student career options specialist Handshake were featured players, while new markets saw onboarding software experts Enroly and student recruitment and student chat platform Unibuddy.

Finally, in research, VR company Labster and Morressier, the research content sharing software, were featured in the top 50.

Joining the session was Ian Dunn, provost of the University of Coventry, who gave his thoughts on competitive recruitment and the new drive from edtech to streamline the process.

“Tech plays a big part in making visible and available the experience of the university without having to travel around. Gone are the days of going to four or five chosen universities and making a decision, but instead being able to engage with them in a more profound way,” he said during the session.

“I think the really big and very exciting space for those platforms which engage in international recruitment, is giving opportunities and making them visible to a much larger population, a range of universities all across the globe,” Dunn explained.

Nick Mount, academic director of the University of Nottingham Online, concurred that the digital approach was the way forward.

“I’ve got my own kids and my 15 year old daughter… I see her engaging in digital spaces for learning, whereas at her age I would have been engaging in far more physical spaces. There is an evolution in the expectation of the sorts of spaces where learning is going to happen and what they should be like,” Mount commented.

“The sector as a whole needs to think very carefully about where it’s investing around its learning spaces,” he added.

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