The number of college students taking classes online has jumped 41 percent since 2005, according to new figures from Statistics Sweden (Statistiska centralbyrån – SCB).
The figure has increased by a whopping 245 percent in the last ten years, with more than 90,000 students enrolled at Swedish universities via online courses, the Metro newspaper reports.
However, online university programmes place different demands on students and teachers, who aren’t always able to keep up with the trend.
“Teaching methods need to be better adjusted for this type of education,” Anders Söderholm, head of Mid Sweden University (Mittuniversitetet), told the TT news agency.
A number of projects are underway at Mid Sweden University to help adapt programmes and teachers to an approach to higher education that is growing increasing popular among students in Sweden.
The university, which has three campuses located in Västernorrland County in northern Sweden, has 48 percent of its student body enrolled in distance courses carried out online.
“The increase is taking place across the whole of Europe, it’s the part of the education market that is increasing the most and that means it’s filling a need, but places different demands on students and teachers,” said Söderholm.
Statistics also reveal that students enrolled in universities online achieve lower results compared with students who attend classes on campus, Metro reports
“It’s about planning and prioritizing; you can’t just think ‘I can do this later’ and do everything at the last minute. Then you won’t succeed,” Dunia Tazkarij, a 22-year-old student enrolled in an online programme at Umeå University in northern Sweden, told the newspaper.