Statistics Show Irish People Are the Most Interested in Online Courses in EU

Online courses

The number of people in the European Union taking an online course or using online learning resources increased by four percent in 2021 compared to a year earlier, data from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union has revealed.

Some 27 percent of people in the EU between 16 and 74 years old said that they attended an online course or used online learning material, an increase from 23 percent of people doing so in 2020, reports.

Data show that among the EU Member States, Ireland had the highest percentage of people aged 16 to 74 who attended an online course or used online learning material, with 46 percent of Irish citizens and residents taking at least one online course or using online learning resources.

Finland and Sweden reported a percentage of 45 percent, whereas the Netherlands reported 44 percent. On the other hand, the EU Member States which reported the lowest number of people attending online courses are:

  • Romania – ten percent
  • Bulgaria – 12 percent
  • Croatia – 18 percent

According to Eurostat data, during 2019 – prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Member States experienced an increase in the number of people doing online courses or using online learning resources, except for Romania, where the number dropped to 10 percent.

“Among the sharpest increases were the Netherlands (+21pp), followed by Luxembourg and Slovenia (both +19pp), and Greece (+18pp),” Eurostat notes.

Regarding the age of EU students attending online courses, data indicate that 16 to 24-year-olds have attended more online courses compared to the adult population. 39 percent of youngsters were enrolled in online courses during 2021, while another 49 percent have used online learning material.

Based on data, the number of people attending online courses decreases with age, as only 3 percent of older people between 65 and 74 years old took an online course in 2021.

The shares continue on a downward trend as age increases, hitting the lowest point among older people (aged 65 to 74), where 3% did an online course and 4% used online learning material,” the report reads.

On the International Day of Education – January 24, the European Commission and High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell issued a statement, saying, among other things, that the EU aims to equip at least 80 percent of young people with digital skills by 2030. In their statement, the EU Commission and High Representative said that with the Digital Education Action Plan, the EU will support the sustainable and effective adaption of education to the digital age.

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