unprepared for a competitive threat from outside that region. Stanford Online is
already looking to exploit its existing client base to become more national.
The CISAER survey indicates that institutions in Europe (60.8%), North America (21.5%),
and Australia with New Zealand (7.7%) overwhelmingly outnumbers institutions in South
America (3.1%), Asia (3.1%), and Africa (0.8%). Even though the researchers have a better
knowledge of Europe, North America, and Australia than they have of the rest of the world,
the survey testifies that these continents overwhelmingly dominate web based education.
North America dominates the world of online education. Some of the reasons for this
dominance are the well developed Internet infrastructure, the economic strength of the
educational providers, the international dominance of the English language, the well
developed university systems, and the famous brand name universities.
The linguistic diversity in Europe is problematic for global competitiveness. Hence, UK
providers seem to have a more international approach than providers in other European
countries. Different national systems of degrees, certificates, and grades also make it more
difficult to compete globally. A European harmonization of these systems will increase the
competitiveness. Further, unlike North America, higher education in Europe is largely state
funded, and this could resist change and become a barrier to competitiveness. The most
obvious example is that national regulations in countries such as Sweden and Germany
prevent institutions from charging tuition fees.
The Australian institutions are among the largest and most advanced in this analysis. Since the
courses also are provided in English, Australian institutions should be very competitive in the
emerging global market.