Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Developing a Strategy for Exporting Australian Educational Technology to China

Greetings from the 47th Floor of the MLC Tower in Sydney, where I am attending a meeting on "Developing a strategy to support the NSW edutech sector access international opportunities". This is hosted by the StudyNSW section of the export arm of the NSW Government and called by the Sydney Edutech Group. There are about 25 people from the education sector and government present. The education export part of NSW Government was recently moved to the Premier's Department, in recognition of the importance of this sector.

We are getting an overview of the Chinese education system, The point was made that Chinese venture investment is now A$350M per quarter and equal to the USA. Most of this investment is in the K-12 tutoring, ESL and post secondary skills. There are fewer opportunities in the government sector (I suspect there is more opportunity than expected).

Telstra Muru-D Start-up Accelerator in Sydney, working with China was mentioned. The point was made that there are reforms by the Chinese government (I suggest this is an opportunity for education exports). Australia's Chinese population was seen as a resource for dealing with China.

Some groups are publishers: Phoenix Press and Pegasus Media, EduTech: New Orient,  Accelerators: Learnlab, Innovation Works, Companies: National football coaching reform, Angels and VCs: Zhen Fund, Fresco Ventures, Startups: Bering EduTech Group, Government: National and Beijing, Universities: Beijing Normal.

I found it interesting that working with Chinese universities was included almost as an afterthought. Australian academics have access to their Chinese univalents and might be a useful channels. I  attend the ICCSE Computer Science and Education Conference with Chinese university academics. Also there are Australian education conferences which Chinese academics may attend: ANU is running the Australasian Computer Science Week of Conferences, 2 – 5 Feb 2016, in Canberra.

One interesting point made at the meeting is that Austria is a very respected education brand in China. This directly benefits Australian educational institutions with Chinese students, but can also benefit education technology providers looking for Chinese investment and sales.

After discussing the investment environment in China, the meeting moved on to discuss a possible trade delegation. This might be a visit over five days in a few cities in mid August 2015 (with possible NSW Government representation).

Muru-D's events were suggested as a model for a deligation. This had ten companies showing products in three cities Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen. The idea is to make the presentations look big, by having several confidante presentations. The problem of making something as esoteric as education pedagogy look impressive was discussed, as was the benefits of simultaneous translation (English pretension with slides in Chinese was considered adequate). Those interested in an EdTech delegation to China can contact Terry Hilsberg.

"StudyNSW and Sydney Edutech Group invite founders and members of edutech startups to a consultative round table to assist in the development of a coordinated strategy for NSW edutech companies in accessing global markets, in particular China.

The round table will also discuss opportunities for possible government-led edutech missions overseas, including to China, and how these missions could best be structured to assist NSW startups. Please come along to have your say in how the NSW government can best support you access international markets.

StudyNSW was established by the NSW government in 2014 to support international education in NSW. One of its functions is to identify and generate international market development opportunities and new technology-enabled models of delivery.

The round table consultation led by Terry Hilsberg, Sydney Edutech Group. Overseas mission visit discussion

Edutech Group and StudyNSW We are a 400+ strong Sydney meet-up group, interested in connecting educators, tech geeks, start-ups and investors who are passionate about the education space and interested in applying technology to solve current problems in the education sector. If you are a developer / hacker / entrepreneur / investor — who is passionate about education — please join us.

StudyNSW is a dedicated unit established by the NSW Government to increase the number of international students studying in NSW or with our education providers overseas, improve the quality of their experience while in the State and recognise their contributions to our communities.

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