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4 Countries that are Leading the Charge in Online Education

19 December 2016, 18:29 CET

Online courses are taking the world by storm at the moment and more countries are doing everything in their power to make online classes more accessible to students. In addition, some countries have made it a goal to give more legitimacy to these types of courses and encourage a larger number of students to seek online alternatives to traditional courses. Here are four countries that are leading the pack in the world of online education.

The US

The United States is a world leader in the world of online education with hundreds of reputable institutions offering a variety of degrees across all disciplines. According to a study by the Sloan consortium that was conducted in 2011, more than 6 million American students were enrolled in an online course during the year, which represented almost a third of all students seeking a post graduate education.

Many reputable online institutions are now offering great online degrees that are accepted virtually everywhere around the world. The Concordia University online degrees include a master in business administration, Bachelor in Homeland Security and Healthcare administration, as an example.

The European Union

For a long period of time, online courses in Europe were associated with commercial institutes and had very bad press. However, Europe now leads the way in online education with over 500 European institutes offering entire degree programs and short courses online. The online education industry saw a massive increase in demand from 2011 to 2012 with a 20% increase in online student enrolment.


India's role in the current proliferation of online institutions in Asia is central. Over the last 10 years, India developed a myriad of world class institutions attracting some of the brightest students the continent has to offer. A factor that may explain the sudden boom in online education in India are dire economic conditions. Many Indians who attend online colleges do so by necessity. They simply cannot afford the luxury of leaving their current positions to study, which makes online learning a perfect option for many Indians seeking a post graduate education.


China currently has over 70 online colleges, a number that is expected to grow because of the increasingly high demand for online degree opportunities. The history of distance learning started in the 1960's in China, with several courses being dispensed through radio airwaves and television. Now China aims to become a world leader in the sector of online education and online learning experienced unprecedented growth in the country since 2006.

However, internet connection issues in rural areas and the apparition of diploma mills somewhat slowed down the progress of online education in the country. We can expect the government to make significant changes to its infrastructure and legislation to make online education accessible to a larger number of its citizens.


The growth of online education is directly related to increased internet access all over the world. We can expect many players to be added to this list in the next coming years and online learning could soon become one of the most impactful innovations in the history of education.

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