In 2020, Romanians’ spending on education amounted to $ 1.8 billion, and by the end of 2025 they will exceed $ 2.2 billion, according to a report issued by PayU, the leader in online payments in Romania.
“The Next Frontier” is a global report by PayU, which analyzes the fastest growing e-commerce markets, including Romania. According to it, Romania is among the top 15 countries in the European Union in terms of education spending, and Romanians show that they want to invest more and more in their training.
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Online commerce has grown at an accelerated pace due to the pandemic, and this has helped industries operating in the digital environment to grow much faster than in a normal context.
Once the pandemic spread, people had to spend more time in their homes and find alternatives to the activities they would have done in a normal context. Thus, one of the industries that has started to develop rapidly was the digital education or E-learning industry.
Whether we are talking about courses, online workshops, platforms or books, people have shown an increased interest in all this during the pandemic and have joined this growing trend. If in 2019 the global E-learning market was estimated at $ 200 billion, by the end of 2026 forecast show that it will double1.
How did the Romanians adapt?
With the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, many of the activities that normally took place physically were adapted to the online environment, and those related to education were among the first.
Thus, the physical classrooms were replaced with the online ones, and the digital platforms were the ones that made this possible. Whether we are talking about students, employees who needed training or people who wanted to discover other areas of professional training, they all had to do these things online, and in addition to digital platforms an equally important role were also playing the electronic devices. We are talking about video cameras, laptops, tablets, or even better phones, which have facilitated access to digital platforms.
The most used digital platforms in Romania for students are Moodle, Zoom and Google Classroom, the latter bringing together over 41% of all users in Romania.
The main actions for which the platforms were used were to provide information and conduct exercises and debates.
“Although investment in education is growing and there is huge potential in the local digital education market (E-learning), digital education platforms and educational institutions are not yet set up to use, on a large scale, such learning platforms which can facilitate the learning process for students. If 2020 was more of a year of exploration and one of accommodation with the online environment and the interactions we can have with digital platforms, however we expect these things to become normal in the future, with over 50% of digital platform users saying they didn’t have difficulties using them, and almost 30% saying they needed little help. This is also due to the growing desire of people to connect from various places, thus giving up the traditional offices or classrooms”, says Elena Gheorghe, PayU Country Manager Romania.
What is the situation in CEE ?
At the moment, Central & Eastern Europe represents 11% of the total European digital education market, and the growth potential of the industry in this region is huge if we look at other countries that have had a considerable boost in this direction.
The report presented by PayU also analyzes two other CEE markets, which have significant increases in the digital education segment, these being Poland and the Czech Republic.
A similar situation with the one in Romania is found in Poland, where, during the pandemic, consumers wanted to use their time at home in a constructive way, and by the end of 2020, digital education had increased by 39% compared to the previous year, with the highest growth rate in the second quarter of 2020 (+124%).
The situation is similar to the one in Czech Republic, the data presented in “The Next Frontier” report showing that in the coming years the consumption of online courses will increase considerably due to the possibilities of remote connection and online payment for courses and subscriptions for E-learning.