Education Sector: Driving Growth Through Disruptive Technology

education sector innovation

The education sector continues to be heavily impacted by the pandemic and most higher learning institutions are still reeling from the consequences.

As a result, growth is more important than ever. Nevertheless, approaching growth in the usual manner won’t deliver the results organisations need within the new normal.

However, disruptive technologies can offer a new approach to this vital process for institutions that can create success.

Disruptive Technologies Proved Their Worth

The pandemic forced universities, colleges, and other higher education facilities to offer instruction and resources remotely. In-person classes weren’t a possibility, campuses closed, and many instructors were unable to teach. No one was fully-prepared for this sudden, rapid change.

Luckily, disruptive technologies became the mainstay of the classroom. Video conferencing, file sharing, and collaboration software allowed administration, instructors, and students to connect. Educational institutions continued to teach, greatly due to the rapid adoption of existing technologies.

Even so, disruptive technologies must play an even greater role in the education sector of the future if it hopes to flourish.

Registrations Haven’t Returned to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Many in-person classes have resumed, but the return to pre-pandemic registration levels is slow. According to data, postsecondary student enrolment declined 3.3% year-over-year, the most significant decline since 1951.

Consequently, institutions continue to feel the economic pinch in an already strained financial environment. Cash flow dropped due to the added expenses created by the pandemic and the injection of enrolment cash is not coming fast enough.

This financial strain is also compounded by the expectation of both remote and in-person offerings as restrictions lift. Many students, teachers, and administrators now expect the convenience and ease disruptive technologies can offer. Nonetheless, the need for face-to-face contact still remains essential in many cases.

Inflation, recession, and potentially reduced funding, plus lower registrations will undoubtedly negatively impact the education sector further. Institutions now find themselves in the unenviable position of delivering more from far fewer financial resources.

Hybrid learning models based on innovative technology could be the solution. However, educational institutions can’t expect to deliver more from less financial resources if they go about their business in the usual manner.

The Education Sector Needs to Transcend Survival Mode

During these difficult times, it is time to look at innovative solutions to meet new challenges. The motivation to innovate is high. The education sector must transition from survival mode towards higher revenues, greater efficiency, and improved learning.

Educational institutions need to review and question rigid assumptions and the core building blocks of higher education. The pandemic has proven the sector can survive and disruptive technology can trigger positive change. However, focusing on survival won’t offer what institutions need to thrive.

Luckily, institutions can draw on lessons learned and create a better future. There has never been a more opportune time for the education sector to create more efficient, resilient, and equitable schools.

Improving Capabilities Through Technology

The education sector sits in a unique position, because it must blend business with learning objectives. However, prioritising disruptive innovation holds the key to making this a reality.

Education technology can be an effective tool that expands access, both inside and outside of the classroom. EdTech can also help build more resilient systems that better withstand rapid change.

Data can also help institutions monitor progress, identify drivers, and improve management. Institutions can move beyond survival mode, increase value and revenues, and decrease cost per student.

Connecting the Education Sector to Innovation

Few institutions have the capabilities they need in-house, so they must leverage partnerships. A collaborative mindset and expertise can lead them to the solutions they need.

Disruptive technologies can help educational institutions see an upward enrolment trend again. Luckily, accessing technologies and expertise has never been easier through EarlyBirds.

The EarlyBirds Innovation Ecosystem brings the leaders of higher education facilities together with tech innovators, early adopter leaders, and Subject Matter Experts. This facilitates ongoing collaboration and the discovery of actionable innovation that can create ground-breaking growth solutions for higher learning institutions.

We offer Subject Matter Experts, an expansive ecosystem of new and disruptive technologies, and programs for ad hoc or supplementary needs, as well as ongoing transformational support.

EarlyBirds Ecosystem

The EarlyBirds Innovation Ecosystem is a Business-to-Business portal that connects leaders or influencers in an organisation with new and disruptive technologies.

The Ecosystem has a data pool of over 4 million global innovations that may already address your business challenges. Alternatively, companies can list challenges and request solutions from innovators.

EarlyBirds Explorer Program

The Explorer Program is tailored towards businesses who need innovation as a service to supplement existing innovation programs, or to conduct innovation projects when required.

EarlyBirds Challenger Program

The Challenger Program focuses on a single business or technical challenge. It looks for the most relevant innovators that meet business, technical, commercial, and business risk requirements.

The program is run by an EarlyBirds Subject Matter Expert who collects requirements. The SME then searches the data pool to identify and curate options for further evaluation. The most suitable option is chosen and SME drafts a roadmap of next steps, POC, trial, or implementation.


EarlyBirds is your best choice for educational transformation. We offer resources and expertise to connect institutions to innovative solutions and disruptive technology.

Register at, or contact us to discuss your needs. We can help your institution improve growth, build resiliency, and recover quicker from the financial implications of the pandemic.