It is no surprise that education is one of the biggest determining factors of an economy’s success and growth, which is why in fall of 2015, some 20.2 million students were expected to attend an American college or university. Since 2009, there has been an increase of over 4.9 million college attendees. However, education is not nearly as accessible in other parts of the world as it is in the United States, and it is restricting potential growth.
India is home to one of the largest youth populations in the world, but only 12% of them will get accepted into a university to pursue a degree. The amount of unused potential within their youth could prove to be detrimental to their economy in the long run. With only a select group being afforded the opportunity to receive a degree, the number of high level jobs will diminish and productivity will suffer. India’s government has made a goal to have university enrollment increase to 30% by 2030, but without the expansion of current universities or the establishment of new ones, that goal will never be attainable. Online platforms have been exploring the potential of Mooc’s (massive open online courses) to cater to the demand. With the implementation of online universities, a significantly larger amount of potential college students would have easy access to classes from American universities like Yale and Stanford. At this point, the online courses would not qualify toward a degree, but would offer knowledge and skills. However, it is highly likely that in the near future, the program will be reconstructed and the completion of courses will be counted toward a degree.
In some countries, secondary education is as unattainable as a college education is in others. Sub-Saharan Africa faces a severely underdeveloped education program, where out of the continent’s nearly 128 million school-aged children, 17 million of them will never attend any kind of school. Schools are overcrowded, teachers are under-trained, and learning resources are scarce–if they exist at all. Power and connectivity are the biggest issues the country is facing as far as tools for education. If they were given traditional computers or tablets, there would be little to no place to connect and charge them. However, there are companies working to address this issue. Solar power is seen as the answer to these problems. Rugged solar powered tablets are being designed to bring connectivity and power to the places that need it most. This technology will help to close the education gap and give children in underdeveloped areas the chance to receive an education.