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The Online College Revolution

The Internet has changed how we live in nearly every conceivable way; why should college education be any different? In fact, online education is truly revolutionizing the higher education landscape.

Access

With a modem as the only prerequisite, more students have access to higher education, and students have access to a wider variety of courses. This makes online college hugely popular.

12.5%

College students enrolled exclusively online or in distance learning (1)

Students taking at least one course online (2)

2008: 23%

2013: 45%

Only about 3% of higher education institutions offer a massive open online course (MOOC) currently. But almost 1 in 10 are developing MOOCs. (3)

Online education attracts those from all over the world. For instance, Harvard’s MOOC program has drawn enrollment from around the globe.

Top countries (outside U.S.) (4)

Country: Enrollment (all time)

India: 244,472

China: 100,337

UK: 120,509

Canada: 99,434

Brazil: 73,511

Quality

As online education matures, more educational leaders are giving their votes of confidence to online college.

Online as good or better than brick-and-mortar (3)

2003: 57.2%

2014: 74.1%

Online classes are critical to institution’s long-term strategy (3)

2002: 48.8%

2014: 70.8%

Technology

As we become more and more wired, our society is made for online education.

Nearly 1 in 2

Humans with access to the Internet (5)

Online population by country (percentage with Internet access) (5)

Bermuda: 97.75%

Qatar: 96.65%

Bahrain: 96.53%

Iceland: 96.50%

Norway: 96.15%

Netherlands: 96.08%

Denmark: 96.08%

Luxembourg: 95.05%

Finland: 94.01%

United Arab Emirates: 93.24%

Canada: 92.89%

Liechtenstein: 92.37%

South Korea: 91.52%

New Zealand: 91.45%

United Kingdom: 89.90%

Monaco: 89.88%

Antigua and Barbuda: 89.71%

Australia: 89.62%

Andorra: 89.30%

Sweden: 89.10%

Faeroe Islands: 88.16%

Switzerland: 88.02%

Kuwait: 86.86%

Germany: 86.78%

United States: 86.75%

Japan: 86.03%

France: 85.75%

Belgium: 84.72%

Austria: 83.68%

Slovakia: 82.65%

Ireland: 81.62%

Estonia: 81.62%

Singapore: 80.73%

Cayman Islands: 79.36%

Aruba: 79.23%

Hong Kong SAR: 79.22%

Barbados: 78.51%

Czech Republic: 77.48%

Bahamas: 76.82%

Latvia: 76.45%

Israel: 75.80%

Mali: 75.23%

Martinique: 74.94%

Spain: 74.38%

Hungary: 74.38%

Madagascar: 73.48%

Slovenia: 72.32%

Lithuania: 70.25%

Greenland: 69.48%

Bosnia Herzegovina: 67.52%

Lebanon: 67.19%

Poland: 67.15%

Guam: 66.96%

Portugal: 66.12%

Oman: 65.82%

Chile: 65.76%

Brunei: 65.59%

Croatia: 65.09%

Trinidad and Tobago: 63.72%

New Caledonia: 63.12%

Cyprus: 63.02%

Morocco: 60.33%

Azerbaijan: 60.30%

Italy: 59.92%

Argentina: 59.74%

Kazakhstan: 59.31%

Russia: 59.27%

Saudi Arabia: 59.24%

Dominica: 59.07%

Uruguay: 59.01%

Montenegro: 58.72%

Greece: 57.85%

French Polynesia: 57.54%

Bulgaria: 56.97%

Albania: 56.47%

Puerto Rico: 55.04%

Seychelles: 53.82%

Brazil: 53.37%

San Marino: 52.57%

Colombia: 52.44%

Caribbean Netherlands: 52.41%

Belarus: 52.18%

Romania: 51.66%

Costa Rica: 50.86%

Georgia: 50.62%

Jamaica: 49.78%

Serbia: 49.69%

Panama: 48.39%

Egypt: 48.34%

Dominican Republic: 48.18%

Mayotte: 47.33%

Niue: 47.20%

Venezuela: 47.16%

South Africa: 46.88%

Turkey: 46.62%

China: 46.03%

Tunisia: 45.46%

Grenada: 45.06%

Jordan: 44.98%

Moldova: 44.81%

Armenia: 43.57%

Vietnam: 42.97%

Mexico: 41.13%

Peru: 40.90%

Uzbekistan: 40.63%

Malaysia: 40.25%

Malta: 40.22%

Cape Verde: 39.72%

Philippines: 39.43%

Tuvalu: 38.09%

Tonga: 37.94%

Ecuador: 37.62%

Nigeria: 37.59%

Ukraine: 37.49%

Suriname: 37.13%

Guyana: 36.73%

Fiji: 36.72%

Kenya: 36.70%

Bolivia: 36.60%

Paraguay: 28.99%

Thailand: 28.84%

Iran: 28.29%

Micronesia: 28.27%

Bhutan: 27.68%

Cuba: 27.45%

El Salvador: 27.30%

Belize: 26.77%

Syria: 26.66%

Sao Tome and Principe: 24.66%

Kyrgyzstan: 24.17%

Sudan: 24.01%

Swaziland: 23.76%

Senegal: 21.96%

Libya: 21.79%

Sri Lanka: 19.90%

Ghana: 19.56%

Zimbabwe: 19.54%

Honduras: 19.40%

Angola: 19.36%

India: 19.19%

Yemen: 19.14%

Mongolia: 17.85%

Guatemala: 17.13%

Uganda: 16.79%

Indonesia: 16.72%

Algeria: 16.70%

Tajikistan: 16.14%

Equatorial Guinea: 15.94%

Zambia: 15.40%

Tanzania: 14.96%

Namibia: 14.80%

Nicaragua: 14.45%

Gambia: 14.23%

Samoa: 14.06%

Botswana: 13.15%

Nepal: 12.13%

Kiribati: 11.70%

Haiti: 11.64%

Vanuatu: 11.53%

Mauritania: 11.43%

Pakistan: 10.84%

Gabon: 9.85%

Rwanda: 9.17%

Djibouti: 9.07%

Turkmenistan: 8.01%

Iraq: 7.79%

Solomon Islands: 7.61%

Bangladesh: 6.86%

Cook Islands: 6.65%

Comoros: 6.55%

Cameroon: 6.52%

Mauritius: 6.14%

Afghanistan: 5.94%

Mozambique: 5.54%

Cambodia: 5.38%

Lesotho: 5.25%

Maldives: 4.73%

Togo: 4.57%

Benin: 4.34%

Liberia: 4.34%

Burkina Faso: 4.26%

Central African Republic: 3.43%

Guinea-Bissau: 3.31%

Côte d’Ivoire: 2.72%

Papua New Guinea: 2.51%

Chad: 2.40%

Marshall Islands: 2.36%

Malawi: 2.23%

Congo: 1.92%

Ethiopia: 1.70%

Guinea: 1.70%

Niger: 1.61%

Somalia: 1.51%

Sierra Leone: 1.49%

Burundi: 1.39%

Myanmar: 1.16%

Timor-Leste: 1.00%

Eritrea: 0.91%

6 in 10

American adults who own a smartphone (6)

13% of students say they take notes on smartphones. (2)

Online learning has already disrupted higher education, as more and more colleges react to student demand by offering classes online. And as our technological capacity expands and classes get better and better, there’s no reason to see the online college revolution as a temporary one.

Sources:
1. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2014/2014023.pdf
2. http://campustechnology.com/articles/2013/06/24/report-students-taking-online-courses-jumps-96-percent-over-5-years.aspx
3. http://onlinelearningconsortium.org/survey_report/changing-course-ten-years-tracking-online-education-united-states/
4. http://harvardx.harvard.edu/harvardx-insights/world-map-enrollment
5. http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/
6. http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/

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