Edtech in Higher Education: Focus Groups, Database, and Documents on Edtech Companies, Investors and Universities, 2021-2023

  • Janja Komljenovic (Creator)
  • Sam Sellar (Contributor)
  • Morten Hansen (Contributor)



These data were generated as part of a two-and-a-half-year ESRC-funded research project examining the digitalisation of higher education (HE) and the educational technology (Edtech) industry in HE. Building on a theoretical lens of assetisation, it focused on forms of value in the sector, and governance challenges of digital data. It followed three groups of actors: UK universities, Edtech companies, and investors in Edtech. The researchers first sought to develop an overview of the Edtech industry in HE by building three databases on Edtech companies, investors in Edtech, and investment deals, using data downloaded from Crunchbase, a proprietary platform. Due to Crunchbase’s Terms of Service, only parts of one database are allowed to be submitted to this repository, i.e. a list of companies with the project’s classification. A report offering descriptive analysis of all three databases was produced and is submitted as well. A qualitative discursive analysis was conducted by analysing seven documents in depth. In the second phase, researchers conducted interviews with participants representing three groups of actors (n=43) and collected documents on their organisations. Moreover, a list of documents collected from Big Tech (Microsoft, Amazon, and Salesforce) were collected to contextualise the role of global digital infrastructure in HE. Due to commercial sensitivity, only lists of documents collected about investors and Big Tech are submitted to the repository. Researchers then conducted focus groups (n=6) with representatives of universities (n=19). The dataset includes transcripts of focus groups and outputs of writing by participants during the focus group. Finally, a public consultation was held via a survey, and 15 participants offered qualitative answers.
Date made available3 Nov 2023
PublisherUK data service

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