The UK is leading a sluggish market for IT investment among education organisations in western Europe, according to analysts.
IDC's Vertical Markets survey found that only a fifth of education respondents in the region intend to increase their IT budgets in 2004, with over half keeping them unchanged and 27 per cent implementing cuts.
Massimiliano Claps, a senior research analyst with IDC's vertical markets group, said that the western European education sector is focusing on the development of advanced IT solutions to optimise teaching.
These include education portals and e-learning, and administrative processes such as student management and enterprise resource planning.
"Constrained government budgets will keep IT spending growth rates slightly below other public sector verticals, and many initiatives will still be related to upgrading and consolidating hardware infrastructure, especially in primary and secondary schools," said Claps in a statement.
The analyst added that budget growth expectations are particularly low in Germany and Italy, but that the situation is much better in the UK.
Claps attributed this to an ongoing government commitment to allocate funds to initiatives for the enhancement of quality across all public services, including education.
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