UK aid is joining forces with British universities, researchers and education experts from around the world to create the largest ever education technology research and innovation project.

£20m of UK aid will go towards a new EdTech Hub designed to better integrate technology into global learning.

More than 380 million children worldwide will finish primary schools without being able to read or do basic maths.

The Department for International Development said that in Africa and Asia, even when hardware such as laptops and tablets are provided, it is often without teacher training or is poorly maintained.

The new UK aid supported Education Technology (EdTech) hub is bringing together British universities, research companies and education experts to help children, teachers and governments in developing countries get up to speed with the new technology in their classrooms.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is working with the World Bank on the EdTech hub, which aims to create the largest global body of research that looks at how education technology is being used and how this can be improved.

“Today over half of children in the world are not learning,” said Senior Director for Education at the World Bank, Jaime Saavedra.

“The World Bank is pleased to participate in this exciting and potentially game-changing initiative.”

The EdTech hub, which will run for eight years, is made up of the University of Cambridge, the Overseas Development Institute, Results for Development, Brink, Jigsaw, Open Development and Education, INJINI, Afrilabs, e-Learning Africa and BRAC.

Expertise from the University of Cambridge will oversee a stream of rigorous research, meanwhile British technology company Brink, will scale promising technology ideas with governments and educators.

“This huge investment and sustained commitment by DFID and partners to improving the educational opportunities for disadvantaged children in key low income regions is extremely welcome,” Dr Sara Hennessy, from the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

“The University of Cambridge is very pleased to be involved in this pivotally important research programme.

“Technology use has to be adapted to the cultural context and one-size-fits-all solutions simply don’t work.

“Rather than hoping for the best, we have to carefully review and iterate, generating insights from rigorous research and applying them in practice.”

The EdTech Hub will shortly commence hire of additional staff through global competition, including researcher positions at the University of Cambridge.