Migrating education to the online space

Education becomes accessible when it positively impacts students from diverse backgrounds and learning styles. Producing classroom content to reach a group of students at a local level proves to be a challenging task. Teachers meet varying students’ needs through themed lessons, incorporating diverse teaching styles, and ultimately designing curricula to foster engagement with as many students as possible. Hosting lessons and educational material in an online space encourages “self-paced learning” and global accessibility. This is formally known as EduTech. (education technology). Lower-income students and students with little access to local higher education outlets will significantly benefit from having access to MOOCs. (massive open online courses). ST Unitas, a Korean-born EduTech company, set out in 2010 to capitalize on this trending market and make education more accessible.

Parasite has sparked a global dialogue surrounding income inequality

The stark contrast between two South Korean families in the Oscar-winning film Parasite has spurred a global dialogue surrounding the growing social divide in Korea and abroad. According to Bong Joon-ho, the film’s director, Parasite, may make viewers uncomfortable as it offers an authentic view of experiences on both ends of the financial and social spectrum. However, this relatable authenticity is what delivers a profoundly hard-hitting viewing experience.

The film could have been set in many other countries, offering similar symptoms of a growing social divide. Globally, according to the 2019 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, the world’s richest 1% holds 44 percent of the world’s wealth. In addition, the United States of America has one of the largest wealth discrepancies. The wealthiest 400 Americans boast larger bank accounts than the bottom 150 million combined. Income inequality is not unique to Korea, but as the film Parasite was set in South Korea, South Korea’s social divide has attracted interest worldwide.

The Impact of Economic Inequality

ST Unitas Inequality GapA manifestation of increases in economic inequality is the growing correlation between wealth and a student’s success in school. Therefore, according to the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, in countries where income inequality is growing, such as the United States or the United Kingdom, there is a positive relationship between the parents’ and child’s economic potential. On the other hand, in countries where income inequality is on the lower end of the spectrum, the relationship is not as strong.

Additionally, in hyper-competitive academic environments, like South Korea’s university entrance exams, the required test scores for top universities continue to trend upwards. Students with access to after-school programs, tutors, and other supplemental learning devices may be better prepared for their exams. Therefore, as these resources are expensive, their accessibility to lower-income students is questionable. Although this relationship is not a new insight, according to the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, the correlation between wealth and success has been continuously growing since the 1980s. Furthermore, technological advancements have driven companies to look to the online space to combat this problem.

ST Unitas is driving global education accessibility

“Can the underprivileged 99% receive the same opportunities given to only the blessed 1%?” – ST Unitas

ST Unitas is one of the leading players in the EduTech space. The startup started with only four employees. Now, ST Unitas has grown to have global influence boasting a team of 1,200 strong. At the core of ST Unitas’s philosophy is their dedicated research into the study practices and learning tools. These practices and tools have been utilized by students who enter the top 1 percent of academic institutions. ST Unitas then takes these study practices and success stories and develops learning programs and resources grounded in this new insight. These tools are accessible through their “Connects” study application or other paid resources offered on their website. ST Unitas hopes to be a key mover in leveling the academic playing field and bolstering global accessibility to education.

ST Unitas has created a one-stop-shop application for both personal and professional development. Their comprehensive resources and rapid growth paint an optimistic future for ST Unitas and global access to education.

ST Unitas Acquired The Princeton Review to become a Global Player

In early 2017, ST Unitas acquired The Princeton Review, which had a solid reputation for global expansion. The goal of ST Unitas was to attract more and more applicants to their online education platform. They aim to combine their technology with offline education content, which The Princeton Review offers in 20 countries. The Princeton Review’s briefing sessions in South Korea have attracted many Korean students looking to study abroad. Based on the popularity in Korea, ST Unitas has opened websites in India and the Middle East. The Princeton Review has already created online education services to help millions of students prepare for the SATs and ACTs. Furthermore, ST Unitas will continue its development of Stella, its AI-based education service. Stella has already been learning the Review’s big data related to SAT exams through its deep learning technology.

Investment from Bain Capital

ST Unitas is one of the top Edtech startups in South Korea. After acquiring the Princeton Review, they got $125 million in investment from Bain Capital back in 2020. They used Bain Captial’s global network to grow as a global company. Their Connects app has topped the list of education apps in 20 countries. These countries include the United States, Canada, and Australia. In 2023, ST Unitas will continue pushing its online courses for English tests and civil service exams while offering offline lectures at its educational institutes in South Korea.