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EU: Interest in Online Education Is Rapidly Dropping in Post-COVID Times

EU: Interest in Online Education Is Rapidly Dropping in Post-COVID Times

The interest to pursue education online has dropped among EU countries throughout 2022, the European Office for Statistics, Eurostat has revealed.

According to a press release, the interest in an online course has dropped by two per cent in 2022, taking the share of people doing an online course or using online learning material to 26 per cent from 28 per cent recorded in 2021, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

In addition, Finland had the highest proportion of people aged 16 to 74 doing an online course – 50 per cent, followed by Spain (42 per cent), Sweden and the Netherlands (both scoring 40 per cent).

On the other hand, some countries already didn’t have a culture of doing online courses or using online learning material including countries like Romania, Bulgaria and Poland where the percentage of people aged between 16 and 74 that attend online courses or use something online as learning material stood at eight per cent, 11 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.

In 2022, almost all countries in the EU witnessed a decrease in online course interest or stopped using online learning material. The only countries that marked an increase in such activities include Finland, where interest in online studying was five percentage points up compared to 2021 levels. The same goes for Croatia, which recorded a one percent increase while Czechia and Italy’s levels remained unchanged.

On the other hand, the highest decreases were registered in Slovenia, which recorded a seven percentage point decrease, followed by Luxembourg (six percentage points) and Belgium, Estonia, Austria and Sweden (all five percentage points).

However, this was not the case for those attending online courses in 2021, as this practice of attending online courses was particularly on the rise. Data by Eurostat show that the number of EU citizens attending online courses last year was four per cent higher than in the previous year, showing an increase in the annual use of ICT in households.

In 2021, among all EU Member States, Ireland had the highest share (46 per cent) of people aged 16 to 74 doing an online course or using online learning material. Finland and Sweden both registered a share of 45 per cent followed by the Netherlands with 44 per cent,” Eurostat explains.

Same as in 2022, Romania and Bulgaria were the two countries with the lowest rates of attendees of online courses in 2021, both with ten and 12 percentage points, respectively. On the other hand, Croatia had a share of 18 percentage points of people attending online courses and this number rose even higher in the following year.

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