Singapore10 September 2020: EduSpaze, Singapore’s first edtech accelerator supported by Enterprise Singapore, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kaplan— one of the world’s largest and diverse education providers, to support the education technology (edtech) startup community and provide real-world learning opportunities for students in this sector in Singapore.

The Singapore government recently announced the Singapore Together Alliances for Action to help the country’s economic recovery and growth post-pandemic. Education technology is one of the seven key growth areas under this initiative. EduSpaze and Kaplan coming together, to foster innovation and better learning opportunities through real-world interactions with industry stakeholders in the edtech sector, is in line with this initiative.

With this partnership, both parties seek to collaborate to provide a group of over 20 Singapore-based edtech startups with the opportunity to learn about innovative edtech solutions that can help them with different significant aspects of their business, including onboarding, better logistics and operations, and eventually help them scale.

The partnership will tap on Kaplan’s expertise in developing industry-ready talent to grow the local talent pool for edtech entrepreneurs and professionals. Where appropriate, Kaplan will leverage its global presence to help these Singaporean startups expand and grow overseas.

Mrs Kee Ai NahExecutive Director of Enterprise Singapore said, “We are excited over the potential outcomes that the partnership between Kaplan Singapore and EduSpaze could yield, especially by presenting creative education technologists with the opportunity to ideate and co-create with the educators. Today, as the processes of teaching and learning evolve quickly, with myriad options for parents and learners, educators constantly strive to engage more meaningfully and deliver content more effectively. In order to stay ahead, we encourage companies to seriously consider collaborations and leverage one another’s strengths to scale. Such partnerships could lead to a stronger value proposition, a better business model, increased productivity or new growth opportunities, both locally and regionally.”

EduSpaze has considerable experience and expertise in harnessing technology to enhance teaching methods that will benefit students; they will also collaborate with industry stakeholders to help students develop skills to support the increasing demand in the push for digital transformation.

Mr Alex Ng, Managing Director of EduSpaze said, “There is a need for edtech solutions to cope with the evolving education landscape around the world. We see potential to collaborate and help bring innovation to the industry, through partners with established education institutions like Kaplan. Our experience in the education scene and working closely with startups from across Asia puts us in a position to help accelerate the adoption of technology in education and bring about positive change.”

Nurturing local entrepreneurs and aspiring founders with better education

Mr Joe Keen Poon, President of Kaplan Singapore said “While the pandemic has impacted jobs, it has accelerated the need for transforming the way we teach and learn via innovative technology like artificial intelligence and augmented reality. At Kaplan, we are constantly reviewing our pedagogy to ensure we deliver on high quality and relevant programmes for our students to pursue lifelong learning and be career-ready professionals, and this partnership with EduSpaze is in line with this mission.”

According to an online learning experience survey conducted by Kaplan this year, close to 9 in 10 students were satisfied with online learning and more than 7 in 10 prefer at least 40% of online learning elements in their curriculum.With this partnership with EduSpaze, Kaplan seeks to offer students the opportunity for real-world learning experiences leading to improved outcomes.

“With edtech identified as one of the key sectors under the Emerging Stronger Taskforce, we are pleased and committed to working with EduSpaze to do our part in supporting a vibrant local startup ecosystem,” Joe added.

Leveraging technology for better student outcomes

The fast-growing and innovative nature of the edtech sector has resulted in growing numbers of edtech startups worldwide. Based on the Edtech X Global Research Report by IBIS Capital and Cairneagle Associates, the Asia Pacific region contributed to over 42% of the new edtech-focused startups in 2019. This growth and push towards digital transformation have been further expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns this year. To help aspiring founders embrace innovation and learn better so they can keep up with this trend, EduSpaze will support Kaplan in co-developing new pedagogically meaningful solutions with edtech entrepreneurs. These solutions will strengthen educators in delivering better education resulting in better learning outcomes.

This also supports Kaplan’s focus on blended learning based on the “flipped classroom” model, where new topics are introduced online first, and physical classroom sessions and tutorials follow to explore the information in greater depth. Over 4 in 5 respondents approve (84.2%) of the approach.

Currently, students from Murdoch University, one of Kaplan’s eleven university partners, on the Murdoch-Kaplan EDGE (Entrepreneurship Development and Graduate Employability) programme also benefit from learning with mentors from startups and contribute to their project developments.

EduSpaze is dedicated to building a robust edtech startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia through industry-relevant partnerships and collaborations. This partnership with Kaplan is in line with ongoing national efforts to continue to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in Singapore through the enhancements to the Startup SG Founder programme announced in August 2020. The edtech accelerator is also set to announce their second cohort applications for edtech startups soon.

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