Trend study Online International Learning: Studying for more security

Trend study Online International Learning: Studying for more security

  • IU International University of Applied Sciences surveyed young professionals from 28 countries.
  • At 18.8 percent, an IT-related degree program is the top field of study among respondents.
  •  Half of the respondents (49.9 percent) prefer on demand-online-based learning.

Erfurt, September 21, 2021. The 2021 "Online International Learning " trend study conducted by IU International University of Applied Sciences shows that young professionals see studying primarily as a lever for financial security (40.7 percent) or for increasing their own wealth (40.5 percent). Personal development and gaining life experience represent the greatest motivation for online studies for 41.2 percent, and 32.8 percent want to study online to advance professionally. 31.2 percent of respondents hope to earn a higher salary as a result, and 25.3 percent want to study in order to start their own business.

 The majority (52.5 percent) of participants are aiming for a master's degree, and nearly half are pursuing a bachelor's degree (43.2 percent).

 In the 28 countries surveyed, the young professionals see computer science or IT-related studies as the top online subject (18.8 percent). Business and management came in second (16.9 percent), followed by engineering and technology (10.6 percent).

 "The pursuit of financial security is a fundamental need - and it's by no means a recent development. The desire for greater financial independence has already been observed among Generation Y and is gaining in importance among Generation Z. This is also associated with the desire for more individual freedom and flexibility," says Prof. Dr. Florian Hummel, Prorector International & Diversity at IU International University of Applied Sciences.

 Half of the participants (49.9 percent) would opt for on demand online lectures without attendance times in order to remain as flexible as possible when studying. Another 34.3 percent would prefer online lectures with fixed times. Only 15.5 percent would like mandatory face-to-face lectures at fixed times.

 In terms of the type of studies, part-time studies are more in demand than full-time studies: 68.6 percent of respondents would like to study part-time, of which 47.9 percent prefer up to 30 hours per week, and 20.7 percent prefer up to 15 hours per week.

 International recognition of a university (57.4 percent) and the ability to earn an international degree (53.6 percent) are the most important criteria for choosing an online learning provider. When it comes to its trustworthiness, seals of quality from government agencies and official rankings are the decisive requirements. In addition, the majority of participants would like to apply directly to an online study programme (82 percent) and not via education agencies.

In terms of distance learning requirements, 43.1 percent of respondents want video explanations (recordings) of individual learning content. For 43.0 percent, the accessibility of contact persons via e-mail is important, and 41.2 percent would like to have communication via a messenger service (WhatsApp, etc.). Furthermore, 41.0 percent of respondents consider online forums important for exchanging information with other students.



About the study

 With the trend study "International Online Learning", IU International University of Applied Sciences aimed to find out what young professionals look for when choosing an online study programme in times of increasing digitalisation and globalisation. To this end, in December 2020, an online survey was conducted in 28 countries among 200 young professionals interested in online study from each country (Except for Algeria, where only 50 participants were surveyed).  

 The countries include the United States, France, Algeria, Kenya, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Egypt, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, Poland, Romania, Spain, South Korea, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom.


Click here for the study: Trend Study "Online International Learning



With over 75,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-recognized educational institution brings together more than 200 Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes under its roof, which are offered in German or English. Students can choose between on-campus study, dual study, distance learning and flexible combination models and thus shape their studies in a self-determined way. IU began operations in 2000 and is now represented in 28 German cities. It cooperates with over 10,000 companies and actively supports them in employee development. Its partners include Motel One, VW Financial Services and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at: www.iu.de