303 new University Partnerships were established in 2020 with OPMs, Bootcamps and International Pathway providers. Bootcamps doubled, global OPM growth surged and International Pathways are forging new digital trans-national plays anticipating a post COVID surge of student mobility.
Universities are establishing public-private partnerships en masse as the Higher Education model evolves and innovates. The buy, build or partner decision is top of mind for senior teams in universities, as global higher education moves through significant structural change and continues to redefine its role in the education ecosystem.
Public Universities have led the expansion of Academic PPPs. 2020 sees Private NFPs catching up.
Historically, Public Universities have led the growth of Academic PPPs, growing steadily in number over the past five years. 2020 saw a significant jump in partnerships between Private Not-for-Profit Universities and OPMs, Bootcamps and Pathways providers as a greater number of these institutions acted on the immediate need for digital services and delivery.
While the US pioneered the OPM and Bootcamp PPP models, the International OPM market is now growing much faster. Nearly as many US Bootcamp partnerships were established in 2020 as OPM PPPs.
2020 was the year when US universities hit the gas on partnerships with Bootcamp providers, allowing them to deliver to a whole new segment of learners seeking short up-skilling or re-skilling opportunities in areas of high demand. A number of models are at play within these partnership arrangements including the integration of bootcamp training embedded into traditional degree programs or those acting as on-ramps to full degrees through credits. At the same time, the OPM model is expanding globally as universities internationally see the immediate need for digital delivery.
Small and Very Large Institutions are more likely to establish Academic PPPs than Medium and Large Institutions.
Overall, mega-institutions and small universities are taking on more Academic PPP’s than their middle-sized peers, and they have largely turned their attention to Bootcamp partnerships during 2020, with a significant spike in new partnerships by these two groups. Small institutions particularly established more than 4x the number of Bootcamp partnerships in 2020 as in the previous year.