Pearson’s strategy pays off as Covid-19 accelerates online learning

LONDON: The outgoing boss of Pearson hailed the success on Wednesday of his lengthy and often painful battle to rebuild the education group for a digital generation after Covid-19 accelerated the switch to online learning.

John Fallon, who issued a string of profit warnings as students moved from expensive textbooks to digital learning, said the company would not have been able to cope with the rapid shift online during the pandemic had it not previously prepared.

The group’s performance was boosted by a 32% jump in global online learning in its third quarter.

“The last few years have been hard for our shareholders and everybody involved but we have stayed true to our purpose,” he told reporters. “The future of learning is digital and as you can see from these trends, Pearson is going to play a very very big part in it.” Pearson’s shares rose 3% in early trading.

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Higher education pays, if you use it

Based on data from Statistics Canada, the researchers found that, in 2018, workers with a university degree earned 53% more per hour than those with no post-secondary education. Further, those with other higher education (college, trade school etc.) earned 18% more.

“Wage premiums for higher education are substantial, but they have been falling over the past 20 years,” the report said.

Back in 1997, university graduates earned 63% more, and other forms of post-secondary education generated 20% more.

This decline in the returns for post-secondary education has come as a greater proportion of the population has pursued higher education.

Back in 1997, 15% had a university degree and 29% had other post-secondary education. By 2018, those metrics had increased to 28% and 33%, respectively.

As the supply of workers with higher education rises, the payoff for having a degree declines.

However, the report also found that the premium on higher

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