The number of EU citizens and residents attending online courses in 2021 increased by four percentage points compared to previous years, according to data published by the European Union Statistical Office (Eurostat), based on the annual survey on ICT use in homes and by individuals.
According to the results of the survey, published on January 24, 2022, 27% of the respondents, aged between 16 and 74, claimed to have attended at least one online course or used educational materials available online.
In explaining the data, Eurostat notes that the number increased by four percentage points compared to the previous year when 23 percent of survey respondents had either attended an online course or used online educational materials.
Eurostat also revealed that the EU member states that top the table in terms of online learning are Ireland, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands.
“In 2021, of all EU member states, Ireland had the highest percentage (46 per cent) of people aged 16-74 taking an online course or using online educational materials. The data shows that every Finland and Sweden recorded a share of 45 per cent, followed by the Netherlands with 44 per cent.”
While the member states in which the number of those doing online courses was the lowest, are as follows:
Romania – ten percent – Bulgaria – 12 percent – Croatia – 18 percent
Eurostat also highlights that the number of people using online education has increased compared to before the pandemic as well, particularly in the Netherlands, where the number increased by 21 percentage points. The only member country in which a decrease was recorded is Romania, where the number of those taking online courses and using online educational materials has decreased by four percentage points.
As the pandemic has forced several lockdowns across the EU in the past two years, the European Commission’s European Education Area has launched new EU-funded projects that can be used for online education. Some of these projects are:
EduHack is an online course, which aims to empower undergraduate educators who want to learn how to produce digitally supported learning experiences. The BIOTALENT e-learning platform is a platform for science educators, nature guides and anyone interested in biodiversity. ‘Open Mind’ is a project aimed at promoting social entrepreneurship among female learners and students without a business studies background. The Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE) connects adult learning professionals across Europe to help enhance the quality and diversity of adult learning opportunities.
When it comes to the age of those who take online courses, data from Eurostat shows that young people aged 16-24 top the table in this regard, with 39 per cent of people in the EU between these ages reporting that they have taken an online course. , while 49% used online learning materials. According to the results of the survey, with increasing age, the number of people taking online courses also decreases.
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