Online education growing in the EU

Two days ago, the EU released stats that showed how an interest in online education is growing in Europe. On the website, the EU released the following facts:

  • In 2021, 27% of people aged 16 to 74 in the EU reported that they did an online course or used online learning material in the last three months prior to the survey, a 4 percentage points (pp) increase compared with 23% in 2020.
  • In 2021, among all EU Member States, Ireland had the highest share (46%) of people aged 16 to 74 doing an online course or using online learning material. Finland and Sweden both registered a share of 45%, followed by the Netherlands with 44%.
  • At the other end of the scale, doing online courses or using online learning material was not very common in Romania (10%), Bulgaria (12%), and Croatia (18%). 
  • In the EU, young people aged 16 to 24 have taken more to online learning than the average adult population. In 2021, 39% of young people reported doing an online course and 49% used online learning material, compared with 23% and 27% among adults aged 25 to 34, and 20% and 23% among adults aged 35 to 44. 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.  

A post-Covid world shows us that a lot of education is now being geared towards online, as with most other sectors of the market. In a previous blog posts, Oli talked about how in 2020, global investment in edtech reached a record of $, a figure nearly twice as high as the previous peak in 2018. A whopping $10.1bn of this total was invested just in China, with many companies seeking to standardise the schooling experience across rural and all forms of urban communities.

While the Chinese market is almost double the size of the combined US and European, the block saw a respectable combined investment of $3.2bn, highlighting the success of companies like Zoom and Georgia-based Boxlight Corporation.

For the UK specifically, Joe wrote a previous blog post on how the UK Edtech market has recently been projected to reach a valuation of £3.4 billion by the end of 2021 in a recent publication by the Department for International Trade.

Building on the existing the range of cutting-edge solutions, UK businesses are expected to fuel innovation and underpin the interactive learning space in the years to come. The UK is estimated to lead the European EdTech market, attracting over $1 billion in investment since 2014, an amount larger then the next three countries combined.

We can see the rest of Europe is also following this trend, and that Edtech platforms can see Europe as a growing area for investment.

At Polestar, we have and are advising a number of businesses in the edtech sector. With the rapid demand in this space, this could be a good time to explore your options for raising funding or securing a valuable exit. Like always, if you have any interest, please reach out!

Doing online courses is a convenient way to learn something new or to deepen your knowledge in a specific field, for example improving your language skills, expanding your professional qualifications or simply learning something new for fun.

By Anusheh Khan on 31/01/2022