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06 Mar 2023

Online Program Management: How it Impacts Colleges & Universities


Online degree & certification programs have gained significant traction in the last few years. While a few EdTech startups have become unicorns with specialized offerings in this space, less than ~15% of all Higher Ed programs are being administered online. Content creators and providers (including traditional educational institutions like colleges and universities) are tapping into this opportunity through different approaches: 

  • Creating an end-to-end learning platform with proprietary content/courses; 
  • Partnering with Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platforms like Coursera, Udemy, etc. 
  • Delivery of content through tech partnerships with Online Program Management (OPM) service providers. 

In the following sections, we explore the world of OPM and understand how it is changing educational institutions globally. 

Online Programme Management, or OPM, is changing the way educational institutions bring online education to the masses. OPM providers help colleges/universities build, recruit for, and deliver online programs, providing them with an opportunity to scale their courses to a wider audience. The global OPM market is expected to reach US$ 9.9B by 2025, growing at a CAGR of ~20%. 

 Postgraduate programs have historically been the fastest to adopt OPM as the learners typically are working professionals who require flexibility and have a strong willingness to pay. Business, Healthcare, and Technology have been the most desired streams by students seeking upskilling programs. Lately, undergraduate colleges have been increasingly adopting OPM services, especially in the post-CoVID world. 

OPMs function predominantly on 2 kinds of business models – revenue-sharing and fee-for-service.