Interest in online education is growing in the EU – Products Eurostat News

Taking online courses is a convenient way to learn something new or deepen your knowledge in a specific area, for example by improving your language skills, broadening your professional qualifications or simply learning something new for the job. pleasure. During the pandemic, people have been encouraged to limit social contact and therefore online courses offer a safe alternative to education and training.

In 2021, 27% of people aged 16-74 in the EU said they had taken an online course or used e-learning material in the last three months before the survey, an increase of 4 percentage points (pp) from 23% in 2020 .

In 2021, of all EU Member States, Ireland had the highest share (46%) of people aged 16-74 taking an online course or using e-learning material. Finland and Sweden both recorded a share of 45%, followed by the Netherlands with 44%.

At the other end of the scale, taking online courses or using e-learning materials was not very common in Romania (10%), Bulgaria (12%) and Croatia (18%) .

Compared to 2019 before the pandemic, the share of people following online courses or using e-learning material increased in all Member States, except Romania where it decreased (-4 pp) to reach 10%. The Netherlands (+21 pp), followed by Luxembourg and Slovenia (+19 pp) and Greece (+18 pp) are among the biggest increases.

Source dataset: isoc_ci_ac_i

In the EU, young people aged 16-24 have opted for e-learning more than the average adult population. In 2021, 39% of young people said they took an online course and 49% used online learning materials, compared to 23% and 27% among adults aged 25-34, and 20% and 23% among adults aged 35 to 44. continue their downward trend as age increases, reaching the lowest point among seniors (65-74), where 3% took an online course and 4% used learning materials in line.

Bar chart: share (%) of people (16-74 years old) taking a course or using e-learning material, by age, EU, 2021 (3 months before the survey)

Source dataset: isoc_ci_ac_i

This news marks the International Day of Education, celebrated on January 24.

For more information:

  • The data in this article is based on the annual survey of ICT use in households and by individuals. The results above refer to the experiences of individuals in the last 3 months preceding the survey, i.e. the first quarter of 2021.
  • As 2021 data for Italy is not yet available, EU aggregates for 2021 have been estimated.
  • An online course refers to a course (planned series of learning activities in a particular subject or topic) offered wholly or partly online and leading to a qualification or certificate of attendance.
  • Use of e-learning materials refers to the use of instructional materials (other than an online course) on any topic or subject available online or in a digital format for educational, professional, or private purposes ( for example, audio-visual materials, e-learning software, e-textbooks, learning apps).
  • Eurostat database on digital economy and society
  • Eurostat section dedicated to digital economy and society

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Helen D. Jessen