Open and Distance Education/E-learning Readiness/Facts and Figures
This section discusses the trends in e-readiness across the global. The facts and figures utilized derive from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) available reports on the e-readiness ranking from 2003 to 2009.
According to the e-readiness ranking, the countries are ranked against four main measures. The EIU termed these measures as the Four Cs which are “Connectivity, Capability, Content and Culture. Other building blocks including a strong education system and a wealth of online content—are also necessary, as is a willingness to adapt to new ways of learning.”
It is evident from the reports that the e-readiness ranking fluctuates over the course of seven consecutive years, an indication that countries/governments either spend more or less on ICT. For instance, based on the 2005 ranking it is noticeable that among the top ten nations are seven European countries, the US, Australia and Hong Kong. The country that topped the list in 2004 and 2005 is Denmark with a score of 8.28 and 8.74 (table 4.1). Denmark retains its position in 2006 and 2007 as shown in table 4.2. For the same years, the US ranked 6th in 2004 then 2nd from 2005 to 2007 while Sweden is in 3rd position in 2004 to 2005, and 4th 2006, and tie with the US in 2007. The only Asian country in the top ten in 2005 is Hong Kong 6th place but in the previous year, 2004 ranked 9th. In 2006, Hong Kong drops to the 10th but raises again to 4th position in 2007.
rank (of 65)
|2004 rank||Country||2005 e-readiness
score (of 10)*
|6 (tie)||9||Hong Kong||8.32||7.97|
(Adapted from source: EIU, 2005)
rank (of 69)
|2006 rank||Country||2007 e-readiness
score (of 10)
(Adapted from source: EIU, 2007)
As previously mentioned, the top ten positions have been dominated by the European countries with little progress from their Asian nations counterparts. The disparity could be significantly influenced by the cultural difference between the two regions (Europe and Asia). According to Latchem & Jung, the difference in teaching pedagogies and theories are major factors that may delay the acceptance of e-learning in Asia. Zhu (as cited in Latchem & Jung) emphasizes that on the one hand, the teacher’s job is to transmit knowledge to the learners and to be a role model. On the other hand, the learner’s role is to learn whatever the teacher taught.
Finally, the report for 2009 again produces a different pattern for the e-readiness ranking. As shown in table 4.3, Europe countries dominate the 1st to 4th position as opposed to the two Asian nations (Singapore and Hong Kong) having the 7th and 8th position respectively. The shuffling in the ranking is the result of new changes made to the methodology and variables employed in the study. According to EIU, "scores also fell because this year’s rankings now cover ICT usage in addition to availability. The availability of technology is not enough to deliver the full socioeconomic benefit to countries that ICT can provide." Above all, the severe financial crisis of 2008 has struck most countries negatively impacting their business environment scores. However, the e-readiness rankings discussed here may shift again, depending on the year the report is published.
|2008 rank||Country||2009 score
(Adapted from source: EIU, 2009)
- The Economist Intelligence Unit, and IBM. (2003). The 2003 e-learning readiness rankings.
- Latchem, C., & Jung, I. (2009). Distance and blended learning in Asia. Routledge.
- The Economist Intelligence Unit, and IBM. (2009). E-readiness rankings 2009: The usage imperative