OPM, meet OPX. New models & the $3.5B global online higher education services market.

Part 2. Launching our 4,900+ OPM Program dataset, sizing up the new $3.5B+ OPX category and sharing our Open Source OPX Capability Framework.

Education Intelligence Unit

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September 8, 2019

OPX is a new category, collectively defining the entire spectrum of services models supporting Universities in the design, development and delivery of online higher education. The OPX category is a $3.5B+ market today, growing at 15% and expected to reach $7.8B by 2025. It includes OPM, OPE, MOOC-as-an-OPM and new hybrid and innovative models.

While the traditional OPM model still dominates, OPE’s, MOOCs and new combinations of capabilities and economic models are maturing and accelerating online program services into higher education.

Our 16-point Open Source, OPX Capability Framework serves to benchmark core capabilities that Universities and OPX’s require to effectively and sustainably design, develop and deliver online higher education.

OPX. By the Numbers.

There are currently 80+ OPX providers working with 500+ global universities to support all aspects of the design, development and delivery of online higher education. This $3.5B market is growing at 15% to $7.8B by 2025.

Of our 4,900+ OPX Program dataset, 1 in 3 are business credentials, nearly 1 in 5 are from healthcare and just under 1 in 10 are in STEM.

The US currently dominates the global OPX landscape with over 80% share, however, this will shrink to just under 75% over the next five years as the global appetite for the OPX model gains traction.

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Lean more about our OPM, MOOC and OPX Research and Data.

HolonIQ’s Global Market Intelligence Platform provides detailed information, data, and analysis on the Global OPM Market with ongoing coverage of this evolving landscape.

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Global OPX market to reach $7.8B by 2025

OPX is a new category, collectively defining the entire spectrum of services models supporting Universities in the design, development and delivery of online higher education.

The OPX category is a $3.5B+ market today, growing at 15% to an estimated $7.8B in 2025 and includes OPM, OPE, MOOC-as-an-OPM and new hybrid and innovative models.

The US currently represents over 80% of the global OPX market size, however it is expected that global players and markets will be growing at a faster rate to 2025.


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Massive post secondary population growth and growing online preference

The global population will increase by 680m more people between 2020 and 2030. Moderate forecast scenarios suggest Global Higher Education needs to scale to credential 280 million more post-secondary graduates over the next decade.

By the time we reach 2025, more than 1 billion people on earth will have attained a post-secondary qualification throughout their lifetimes. Today, China and the US boast more than 6 million online higher education enrolments growing fast. Employers and learners are rapidly accepting of online credentials with more and more licensure and practical skills components bridging the education to employment gap.

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Global OPX Landscape

Many in higher education are still only just learning of the acronym OPM. Various players are advocating ‘Enabling’ roles, branding as ‘OPEs’ to differentiate and represent a different model and/or approach. Meanwhile, MOOCs such as Coursera, EdX and FutureLearn are well established now in supporting Universities with full degree programs and a growing part of the online services landscape.

New models such as Instride, Cintana and even Outlier join the ranks of Straighterline and others driving innovation from the edge, as a network or as ‘outcome’ pathways.

Finally, evolving models like Minerva and OpenLearning bring proprietary technology and curriculum to play in new and exciting ways for institutions. Enter OPX. The meta-category that stretches from B2B, to B2B2C and sometimes even B2C.

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HolonIQ's Open Source 'OPX Capability Framework'

With feedback from our Global Executive Panel, we have built an Open-Source 16-point capability framework to benchmark Universities as well as OPMs and OPX landscape players.

The framework identifies four major capability or core competency blocks that an organization requires in order to design, develop and deliver online higher education.

Use cases include Universities benchmarking OPX players, OPX players benchmarking University Partners and finding patterns to categorize and group companies on the OPX landscape to identify new emerging models.

This is an open-source benchmarking framework licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Four Scenarios for the OPX/OPM Market in 2030

Emerging trends provide directional signals about the future shape of the OPX Market. We built 4 OPX Scenarios for 2030 based on two of the most discussed dimensions.

Outsource-Insource. Will Universities embrace the OPX and continue to ‘outsource’ the capabilities and resources that OPX offers, or will they seek to build those capabilities in-house and manage the entire online spectrum over the long-run?

Consolidation-Fragmentation. Will online higher education consolidate towards an oligopoly of global giants, akin to the broader technology sector or are we more likely to see a highly disbursed and fragmented market of ‘suppliers’ that represent vendor relationships more than partnerships?

Have your say

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