According to IDC’s Higher Education Study, eLearning Spending and Enrollment Are on Course to Grow Steadily

FRAMINGHAM, MA – December 18, 2000 – According to IDC's Distance Learning in Higher Education: Market Forecast and Analysis, 1999-2004, the number of colleges and universities offering elearning will more than double, from 1,500 in 1999 to more than 3,300 in 2004. Student enrollment in these courses will increase 33% annually during this time.


"eLearning is evolving at a healthy pace," said Stephen Webber, analyst for IDC's Education Markets Research program. "Technology advances and the changing needs and interests of students and universities have changed elearning from a simple correspondence course with a study guide to a model that includes the myriad high-tech, synchronous, and asynchronous solutions we're seeing today."

According to IDC, four-year schools will continue to spend more than twice that of two-year schools on elearning; however, spending by two-year schools will grow more rapidly through 2004. Over the next four years, the elearning market will develop into a three-quarters of a billion-dollar opportunity for vendors.

"Spending on elearning technology is just one part of the financial commitment that schools are making," Webber said. "Related investments in products and services that support elearning, such as staffing, hardware, and communications services, will push total spending toward the $3 billion plateau."

IDC's new report, Distance Learning in Higher Education: Market Forecast and Analysis, 1999-2004 (IDC #B23539), analyzes the use of elearning technology in U.S. institutions of higher education. Market forecasts include enrollment in elearning courses, number of institutions offering elearning, and spending on elearning technology. The report examines key trends shaping the elearning market over the next five years, discusses market opportunities, and includes vendor profiles. To purchase the report, contact Patrick Steeves at 1-800-343-4952, extension 6787, or at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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