Top distance learning countries

Online education is gaining popularity throughout the world. The effortlessness and comfort it offers attracts learners everywhere, especially those who want to manage family, work and other commitments at the same time besides completing their education. The number of students taking admission in college-level online courses has out numbered all other forms of distance learning, in a remarkably short span  Many countries are focusing more on distance education rather then the traditional courses.

Below is list of some nations, those can be considered as key players in the game when it comes to distance education.

United States

The US is the undoubtedly the top player in distance education around the world today, with hundreds of online colleges and thousands of programmes to offer. According to a survey conducted in the year 2011 by the Sloan Consortium, it was found that approximately 6 million students in the US have taken up at least one online course, out of which 1/3 are enrolled in higher education.

Most prominent universities in the US offer at least a few online courses, and some have fully developed online degree programmes, even at the master’s and doctoral levels. Even the most influential universities like MIT are offering online programmes, which have been the international model to follow.


In past few years, India has come up with many world-class universities and colleges offering online programmes which are rapidly becoming a sensation among the students.
Many students who wish to pursue higher education and cannot afford to attend regular college- Online schools are a solution to this problem. Though traditional schooling is doing well but the revenue brought by distance education makes it evident that it is here to stay. American universities are also getting online education to India, offering courses at Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Cornell to the students in India.


Presently, China has hundreds of different online college programmes. Looking at growth in the admissions in online courses, it is quite evident that colleges will only increase in near future. China has always supported the concept of distance education, during the 1960s the courses were delivered through television and radio.
It is predicted that online learning industry will grow by leaps and bounds over the next decade. The increase in the number of enrollments and number of colleges in the past few years, it’s looking to meet all expectations.

South Korea

Considered as numero uno in e-learning solutions throughout Asia, South Korea is leading the race, stimulated by the nation’s well-built and emergent high-tech industry and extensive high-speed internet accessibility. Recently, many of the universities in South Korea have started offering online degrees/courses, and the country currently has approximately 17 online colleges well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.

 Apart from this, South Korea still faces many challenges in the road to the success of online education, largely due to the stigma online education holds in the society, where traditional education is still highly valued. Though distance education scenario looks bright  as it plans to use its online education resources to not only teach students in Korea, but  in many other countries around the world, offering more and more courses/programmes in English besides  encouraging Korean students to enroll in  online courses with non-virtual activities on the campus or in social settings.


Presently, Malaysia may not be leading in the race to online education, but looking at the remarkable growth in online schools in the past few years definitely makes a way when soon Malaysia will be a leader. One of the nation’s biggest e-learning schools is based in Kuala Lumpur.

It has come as an advantage for people who live in areas where still there are no colleges and universities but have abundant access to the Internet. E- University, in Kuala Lumpur doesn’t just reach Malaysian student but is also offering education to more then 30 different Asian countries. The e -university in partnership with many schools is offering many online courses, and even working on an MBA programme through the International Business School of Scandinavia in Denmark.

United Kingdom

Online education in the UK has been around for quite a while, but it was only after 2010 that it experienced real growth. The government’s decision to investment  �100 million for the growth of online education and help the country in making its mark in the distance learning sector  develop better online educational resources, and become a key player in the distance learning market. The financial support proposal is partially in response to increasing tuition fee in the country, mostly of which is covered by the government .The government looks forward to more suitable and cheaper educational alternatives will mark a change in the trend. Presently, a few private, profit making contributor and the Open University are top most players in online education. But with the decision of government  to fund  new online education projects could make public programmes more successful and available to students.


One of favorite study options among the Australian student especially with those who don’t want to compromise with professional and personal life is distance education.

In the past few years, the online education market in Australia has gone up by almost 25% and is still expected to grow tremendously. Presently, the key players in the Australian market are Seek Learning, Kaplan and Open Universities, however many schools are also getting fair amount of students as well. Though steady growth is predicted in online courses in Australia that educate students from Asia, with the international market anticipated to develop enormously in the next 10 years, making Australia one of the world’s foremost providers of online education in the world.

South Africa

South Africa is one of the few nations that are already making profit from the digital education revolution. They’ve created countrywide online resources like Thutong and EduNet and are offering online courses at high school and college levels through the various institutions  spread all over the country.

In the recent years, the online higher education in South Africa has experienced decent growth, but looking at the rising demand for qualified teachers, which the country definitely needs, may compel to have more online programmes in teacher training much faster than other educational areas. Presently, online education is still in its nascent stage in South Africa, but the government is making sincere efforts to improve and expand distance learning opportunities and courses like UNISA Online and GetSmarter are paving way to achieve these goals very fast.
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