UK government invests £20m in edtech hub for developing countries

The Department for International Development has announced its involvement in a hub to support edtech adoption in Africa and Asia

The UK Department for International Development (DfID) is providing £20m for an edtech hub that focuses on driving adoption in Africa and Asia.

The DfID is working with British universities, researchers and global education experts on what it has described as the largest ever education technology research and innovation project.


Related news: Nesta embarks on first stage of £4.6m edtech investment scheme


In Africa and Asia, there are few opportunities for teachers to learn how to use technology to support children’s learning. Issues such as tech not being in the right language, and the inability to maintain or replace hardware and software are also prevalent. The hub hopes to address these issues and help teachers adopt tech to improve their students’ learning.

The edtech hub will look at innovations and scaling up technology ideas, providing evidence and research into new tech and digital tools, and providing a global platform for sharing ideas and best practice.

Local governments will also be offered technical assistance in building up their knowledge of effective edtech integration and implementation.

For the first time there will be a substantial amount of practical research available to help teachers and governments around the world choose the right technology for their classrooms.
– Harriet Baldwin, minister for Africa

Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin said: “Educational technology can transform how children learn, but in many developing countries it is often only available in the wrong language or schools do not have the right tools to keep their software in working order.

“That’s why UK aid is supporting the creation of the edtech hub to help millions more children receive the quality education they deserve and reach their full potential.

“For the first time there will be a substantial amount of practical research available to help teachers and governments around the world choose the right technology for their classrooms.”

Half of the DfID’s £20m investment will be allocated to research to support low-income countries; 35% to research synthesis, dissemination and supporting governments, and 15% to innovation and ‘horizon scanning’.


Related news: European Edtech Network launches during London Edtech Week


The project is scheduled to run over eight years, and involves the University of Cambridge, the Overseas Developmnent Institute, Results for Development, Brink, Jigsaw, Open Development and Education, INJINI, Afrilabs, e-Learning Africa, and NGO BRAC.

More information is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-aid-funds-worlds-biggest-educational-technology-research-project