The UK’s online learning technologies market is still the largest in Europe – but only just!


The UK’s online learning technologies market totalled some £565m in 2012/13, according to research by market analysts Learning Light – an organisation which also helps organisations improve their business performance via e-learning and learning technologies.


Learning Light’s latest report – called ‘A Review of the E-learning Market in Europe and beyond, 2013/14’ – sets out the size and state of the online learning technologies markets in 20 European countries, including the UK. It also examines the market for online learning technologies in China.


This report updates similar market analyses published by Learning Light in 2007 and 2009 – although the 2013/14 report is the first one to study the Chinese market.


Learning Light – which regularly carries out specific research and market analysis relating to the e-learning and corporate online learning markets for clients including organisations seeking investment and/or specific advice about this market; investors and potential investors; universities and other educational bodies, as well as national and international bodies including government departments – conducts a great deal of international intelligence gathering. It has fed this data into its forecasting model – which, among other things, makes use of Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) software – to arrive at its published figures.


The UK online learning technologies market, which is currently worth over £560m a year is still the largest single online learning technologies market in Europe. However, in the wake of strong market growth by France – whose online learning technologies market has been growing at about twice the rate of the UK’s over the last four years or so – it is now being hard-pressed to hang on to its position as ‘number one’ in Europe.


At the other end of the scale, some European countries – notably Greece and Ireland – have seen their online learning technologies markets shrink in real terms between 2009/10 and 2012/13; while Slovakia and Italy have experienced the largest percentage increases in their national markets over that period.


Learning Light director, David Patterson, commented: “This Industry Report provides a thorough assessment of the UK’s corporate e-learning sector, identifying and analysing the key issues and trends that affect the corporate online learning industry. And. thanks to our previous Industry Reports, there are now comparable figures for this sector from 2007 and 2010 to go with the current figures from 2013.


Two of the Learning Light Report's authors: David Patterson and Gillian Broadhead.


“There are also comparable figures, now, for countries in Europe from 2010 to 2013 – and, for the first time, the new report assesses the size and scope of the Chinese market for online learning technologies. As such, these series of Learning Light Reports make essential reading for all e-learning market analysts and commentators, as well as would-be successful entrepreneurs and operators in this sector.”


The final section of this new report looks even further afield than Europe by – for the first time – examining the Chinese corporate online learning technologies (e-learning) market. This is significant because the Chinese economy is widely thought to be exerting an increasing influence over the world’s economy.


“The growing use of e-learning in China is being fed both by an increasing demand for knowledge management within companies and by the increased popularity of rapid authoring tools,” said David. “These tools are enabling companies to not only gather and then harness internal – previously siloed – knowledge and skills but also to then develop their own content based on these skills and knowledge.


“Then, again, in China, state-owned enterprises are obliged, by law, to spend 2.5% of their employees’ salary bill on training,” he added. “Moreover, it’s not uncommon for large private sector and state-owned enterprises to recruit 10,000 new employees a year.


“All of this – along with other information contained in the Learning Light report – suggests that there’s a large and growing market for learning as well as available budgets to provide that learning.”


The Learning Light report – ‘A Review of the E-learning Market in Europe and beyond, 2013/14’ – is available from, price £1,200 + VAT.