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Last updated: 18.10.11

UK e-learning uptake 'highest in Europe'

UK e-learning uptake 'highest in Europe'

E-learning uptake is extremely high in the UK; the highest in the whole of Europe, in fact, according to a report covered by Virtual College in 2011.

The study found that demand for online learning was especially high in Britain, which David Patterson, director and consultant of the website, suggested was most likely due to a growing number of companies striving to save money on their training.

"We observe the switch in training spend from face-to-face to e-learning principally to save money, therefore we can confidently conclude that e-learning is growing in popularity with companies and we would add equally importantly with learners," he commented.

His company's research found that over 400 companies were specialising in e-learning for the corporate market back in 2011, with this figure likely to be much higher today as online distance learning has continued to grow in popularity in recent years.

E-learning trends have evolved since 2011, with disruptive technology now making it easier than ever for people to access experiential learning opportunities via e-learning online.

E-learning benefits

With so many benefits to e-learning, it is clear to see why it is so popular in the UK. Online training courses can perfectly complement classroom-based training as part of a rounded, blended learning programme, with the International E-Learning Association (IELA) highlighting that this can be the case for a wide range of businesses and sectors.

The IELA notes that the advantages of active learning online include gaining new skills and qualifications, but these are only the beginning.

Online learners can also improve their employability, potentially gain a better work-life balance by being able to study for work-related courses at a time that suits them thanks to flexible Learning Management Systems, and save money compared to the sum they would have spent travelling to and attending a classroom-based course.

E-learning also presents benefits to employers, who can buy courses in bulk for their workforce, saving money as well as lost productivity time. By working with Virtual College, they can also create bespoke courses that are specially tailored to their organisation.

Discover more and explore Virtual College's full range of e-learning courses here.