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European higher education through students’ eyes

This is the image that the 2009 Eurobarometer survey, Students and Higher Education Reform, is trying to accurately portray, asking students in 31 European countries what they think of/want in terms of higher education. The survey took place in February 2009, its results covering: access to higher education; costs of higher education; higher education institutions and their study programmes; purposes of higher education; quality and transparency of higher education institutions; studying abroad; cooperation between universities and businesses; and plans after graduation.

According to the findings, European students wish for:

  • wider access to higher education – 88 percent of the respondents agreed that all qualified students should have the right to study in a higher education system;
  • more information on higher education institutions in order to make informed study choices -  83 percent agreed that independent reports on the quality of universities and programmes would help students decide where to study;
  • increased cooperation between universities and enterprises – 97 percent  believed it was important to provide students with the skills and knowledge required on the labour market;
  • cheaper higher education – 65 percent thought that higher education should be free of charge, while one third believed fees were acceptable, if grants and loans were available.

And the list of desires goes on.

Eurobarometer 2009