Despite a "tight" environment for overall education spending, global technology spending in the sector will be a "bright spot" in 2011, according to analyst house Forrester.

"Globalisation and the drive to capture a greater share of the global economy, population growth, and a rising middle class has created the perfect storm for educational demand," said Forrester. The company researched the global education technology market from primary to university level by speaking to leading technology providers and a number of school organisations.

"As competition between educational institutions heats up, schools will increasingly invest in new technology as a way to differentiate their instructional offerings and drive operational efficiencies," it said.

The "Schools Move Beyond The Basics: Competition Will Drive Technology Into The Education Market" report found that IT decision-makers in education surveyed by Forrester spent a greater percentage of revenue on technology than other industries.

The education average was 5.5 percent compared with the overall average of 4.2 percent. In retail and wholesale for instance, the percentage was only 2.9 percent.

In addition, IT decision-makers in education expected IT budgets to increase, with 36 percent expecting them to increase by at least 5 percent. Of these respondents, 10 percent expected increases of more than 10 percent.

Forrester analyst Jennifer Belissent said, "Budgets are being spent in the classroom and in the back office. To prepare students for a global, technology-driven economy, we expect a growing number of classrooms will soon begin to incorporate technology that reflects a more personalised, collaborative, interactive and mobile learning experience."

Belissent predicts that schools will also look to adopt traditional enterprise software applications such as:

-Customer relationship management (CRM) for student-life cycle management and education performance management
-Enterprise resource management (ERP) for asset management
-Business intelligence and analytics to better tailor educational programs to individual student learning patterns and performance