EU Online Education Up by 2% in 2023, Data Show

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Online education across the EU countries has increased by two percentage points in 2023, Eurostat, the EU Office for Statistics, has revealed.

According to the authority, 30 per cent of EU internet users above the age of 16 had done an online course or used online education in the last three months. In 2022, the share of these learners stood at 28 per cent, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The Netherlands had the highest share of these users in 2023, with 54 per cent studying online, while Finland followed next with a share of 53 per cent, and Sweden had 48 per cent.

Spain and Estonia were also among the countries with the highest share of people studying online, with a share of 47 and 45 per cent, respectively.

At the other end of the scale, doing online courses or using online learning material was not very common in Romania (ten per cent), Cyprus (16 per cent), Bulgaria and Greece (both 17 per cent) and Poland (18 per cent).

Eurostat

However, countries that recorded the most evident differences in participation in online education include the Netherlands, which, compared to 2022, saw a 12 percentage point increase in these users.

Sweden followed third (seven percentage points), while Malta, Estonia and Croatia recorded five percentage points increase each.

The lowest decreases were noticed in countries in Southeastern Europe, such as Greece and Cyprus, with 12 and five percentage points respectively. In addition, the share of participation in online education in 2023 was down by two percentage points in Austria as well as Slovenia.

According to the Joint Research Centre (JRC), almost half (45 per cent) of 25-34-year-olds in Europe will graduate by 2023compared to less than nine per cent who are prone to dropping their studies and training earlier.

This means that the education attainment levels in the EU are more likely to surpass its targets for higher education graduates.

As per those leaving education early, the EU has set a goal to go below the nine-per cent mark, as the strategic framework for European collaboration in education and training, which was adopted in February 2021, includes.

However, there is considerable uncertainty associated with this forecast, and there is significant heterogeneity across Member States. Some countries have already achieved the nine per cent target, while others reported high levels of ELET and are less likely to go below nine per cent in 2030.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Greece, Ireland, Poland and Sweden have already reached the nine per cent goal, while Spain, Italy, and Hungary have yet to reach their 2030 goals.

While the report highlights that COVID-19 did not have a significant impact on studentsโ€™ abandoning or continuing their studies, the war in Ukraine had a serious impact on them, showing it had negatively impacted the rates of early school leavers and the achievement of tertiary education.

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