Economy & Politics

Ranking These countries lead in digital education

A student doing a computer lessonimago images / Jochen Tack

Anyone who has neglected digital education so far has experienced a rude awakening in the Corona crisis. Schools and universities around the world were suddenly faced with the question: How do you organize yourself online, how does digital teaching work, does every pupil / student have access to a computer, let alone broadband Internet?

Factors in digital education

The digital learning platform Preply has examined the state of e-learning in the OECD in summer 2020. For this purpose, three areas, each with three factors, were examined:

# 1 digital education:

  • Proportion of the total population with private access to a computer
  • Distance learning: Number of degree programs and courses that can be completed entirely online
  • Education expenditure: Share of the gross domestic product per capita that the state spends per student (data from the World Bank, partly from 2016)

# 2 digitization:

  • average broadband internet speed
  • average mobile internet speed
  • average monthly cost of broadband internet access

# 3 market:

  • average hourly wage of a tutor in euros
  • Number of students, pupils and preschoolers (World Bank data)
  • Growth in the number of users on Preply

All indicators were considered equally for the final grade. The study allows interesting comparisons, but raises questions. Some categories were set in relation to the respective total population (for example the proportion of people with computer access). In other areas, however, absolute numbers were compared (number of pupils / students and online courses). The “Market” category is also heavily geared towards Preply’s own business (the platform arranges tutors). It seems questionable how meaningful this data is for evaluating e-learning in a country. In describing the results, we therefore limit ourselves to the first two areas.

The data was reportedly collected on July 15, 2020. Preply did not have sufficient figures for 7 of the 37 OECD members. Therefore, the following countries were not included: Iceland, Israel, Colombia, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia.

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