Inspired collaborations among educators, business, and policymakers to close the K-12 digital divide are paving the way for a brighter postpandemic future for US education.
Educational systems, from K–12 through higher education, are being stress-tested around the globe. With disruptions at an all-time high, now is the time to deliver true innovation.
Even before COVID-19, educational institutions faced strong headwinds. In 2018, 258 million children, adolescents, and youths were out of school. The numbers have only worsened since the onset of the pandemic, which has disrupted learning for nearly 1.6 billion students in more than 190 countries. The racial and socioeconomic achievement gap has deepened, and students are losing ground academically or dropping out altogether.
While the pandemic has created unprecedented challenges, it also presents an opportunity to accelerate innovation and social impact in education. With the right strategic focus—coupled with powerful human and digital capabilities and a willingness to innovate—educational institutions can transform their cultures and educational models to enable 21st century learning.
At BCG, we have deep expertise in supporting transformative education initiatives at the local, national, and global levels, including improving student-learning outcomes for 2.2 million students in India and partnering with not-for-profit foundations—such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation—to strengthen education in the US.
We also go beyond traditional education to help governments and businesses provide opportunities for lifelong learning so that people can gain the skills and capabilities that future workforces will require.
We have served as a thought leader and partner for prominent global education forums.
BCG has hosted several conventions on early-childhood education and preschool, bringing together key providers, funders, and experts to discuss best practices in developing a high-quality early-learning system.
BCG has partnered with UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited to develop a multisector strategy to ensure that every young person around the world is able to access education, training, and age-appropriate employment by 2030.
BCG coauthored a report, Investing in Knowledge Sharing to Advance SDG 4, in collaboration with Asia Society’s Center for Global Education, Results for Development, Teach For All, and World Innovation Summit for Education. The report calls on the international community to invest in a global education ecosystem that promotes cross-border learning and the sharing of innovations.
BCG serves as a strategic partner for the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Councils, defining a new agenda for education, skills, technology, and the future of work.
Our work sits at the intersection of education, employment, and welfare. We deliver learning and training experiences that promote workplace readiness and success—and ensure that policies and funding support the well-being of disadvantaged children and students.
At the heart of our education consulting practice are early-childhood education, K–12 education, higher education, vocational education, education technology and services, and lifelong learning.
We also provide education strategy consulting services to related organizations, including governments, nonprofits, foundations, education publishers, digital learning providers, corporate universities, private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds, and early care providers.
Our education experts help organizations and institutions set a bold ambition, cultivate talent, and deliver proven technology and innovation initiatives, all while managing costs.
We help clients bridge three key gaps in the education system to ensure that all learners are prepared for a bright future.
The education ecosystem focuses primarily on learning within schools—kindergarten through college. We help organizations change the way they think about when and where learning and acquiring skills happen.
Today, 40% of employers have trouble recruiting employees with the communication, critical-thinking, and collaborative skills needed for the 21st century workplace. What’s more, 85% of the jobs that today’s learners will be doing in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. We help educational institutions reimagine what they teach—including soft skills, social-emotional skills, and character skills—while deploying the most cutting-edge, innovative technologies available.
Despite many efforts to generate reform, the education sector remains one of the most difficult in which to achieve sustainable local and systemic change. We help create systems that are responsive to evolving contexts and disruption, wired for continuous improvement, and resilient in a postpandemic world.
Lessons from Fulbright on Developing the University of the Future. A new liberal arts institution in Vietnam found that including students and faculty in the school’s development was a major driver of success.
Stemming Youth Violence with Data, Coordination, and Community. BCG partnered with a team in Miami, Florida, to create a unique initiative that combats youth violence and helps at-risk children perform better in school.
Reinventing Education in Saudi Arabia. BCG helped restructure the K—12 and higher-education ministries in Saudi Arabia to improve learning and teacher development.
Rebuilding and Transforming New Orleans Public Schools. BCG helped the city of New Orleans reorganize, reopen, and revitalize schools after Hurricane Katrina, all while positively impacting student performance.
Pivoting in the Pandemic. BCG’s digital and data strategy enabled AVID, an education nonprofit, to pivot very quickly during the pandemic, supporting 111,780 educators—a record number—from more than 4,200 schools.
Closing the Digital Divide
BCG—in partnership with Common Sense Media, EducationSuperHighway and Southern Education Foundation—launched a series of reports on closing the digital divide for K-12 students in the US.
The Future Skills Architect tool enables governments and businesses to accurately and effectively address the problem of mismatched workforce skills and tasks.
The need for child care is greater than ever. While the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the essential role of child care to our nation’s economy, it also revealed how fragile the child care sector really is.
BCG and Arizona State University examine the ROI of digital learning under different conditions by examining the upfront and ongoing costs. Learn more.