The $7B Global OPM and Academic PPP Market

OPMs, Pathways, Bootcamps and now ‘Education-as-a-Benefit’. Academic Program Focused Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Higher Education are growing rapidly and COVID-19 will only accelerate this 30 year trend.

OPX Market Update - Apr 2020 v6 PB1

Universities have formed 924 Public-Private Partnerships (PPP's) over the last 20 years to stand-up new and innovative academic programs. This landscape of 100+ private players compete in a now $7B, and by 2025 $15B global market. COVID-19 will substantially accelerate this trend.

After two decades of growth, academically focused Public Private Partnerships in Higher Education represent a large and fast-growing market across three main areas – Online Degree Programs, International Pathways and more recently Bootcamps and even ‘Education-as-a-Benefit’ solutions.

Recognising these adjacencies, OPMs have been acquiring Bootcamps, however their Pathways peers have been slow to evolve, with Shorelight’s ‘Live’ platform the exception. Traditional pathways providers are no doubt reflecting on their lack of digital integration given COVID-19 and what this might mean in the medium and longer term for their business model.

Players like Guild and InStride are shaping the ‘education-as-a-benefit’ market, connecting degree programs with employers seeking to leverage tuition reimbursement. We are yet to quantify this emerging segment and, while it’s not yet clearly PPP in nature, this is an adjacency to watch.

‘MOOC’ players like Coursera, EdX and FutureLearn have more high volume ‘Platform’ like characteristics and as such are only included for accredited full degree and long form certificates.

More so today (COVID-19) than ever, Universities around the world are increasingly seeking private partners to rapidly build capability, to boost and differentiate their offerings, accelerate growth and achieve long-term sustainability. As such, Private Equity and Capital Markets are watching the Academic PPP segment closely.

OPX Market Update - Apr 2020 v6 PB1

Universities are accelerating the formation of PPPs in Online, International, Tech and Employer Benefit Segments

Number of New University Partnerships (PPPs) established with OPMs, Pathways and Bootcamps. 2000 – Q1 2020.

OPX Market Update - Apr 2020 v6 PB

What is an Academic PPP?

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) have grown over the last 50 years across many public sectors such as Infrastructure, Healthcare, Education and more recently even Space.

Whilst there is no single, internationally accepted definition of Public-Private Partnership, it is by nature a long-term contract between a private party and a public entity, for providing an asset or service, in which the private party bears risk and management responsibility, and where remuneration is linked to performance.

An ‘Academic PPP’ is distinct from other types of Higher Education PPP’s in that the private party is involved in academic delivery and, in many cases, academic outcomes of the program. However, there are a myriad of models that operate in the Academic PPP space which continue to evolve.

OPX Market Update - Apr 2020 v6 PB
OPX Market Update - Apr 2020 v6 PB2

Global OPM and Academic PPP Landscape

This landscape combines pure-play OPMs, International Pathways, Bootcamp University Partnerships with adjacent and emerging models that together make up the Global Academic PPP Landscape.


HolonIQ’s Open Source OPM/OPX Capability Framework

With feedback from our 2,000+ member Global Executive Panel, we have built an Open Source 16-Point Capability Framework to benchmark Universities as well as OPM and OPX landscape players.

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

OPX Market Update - Apr 2020 v6 PB4

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The $7B Global OPM and Academic PPP Market

24 April 2020. 

OPMs, Pathways, Bootcamps and now ‘Education-as-a-Benefit’. Academic Program Focused Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Higher Education are growing rapidly and COVID-19 will only accelerate this 30 year trend.