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EUROSTUDENT – first comprehensive results from the fourth round

On 15 June, the first comprehensive results of the fourth round of the EUROSTUDENT survey were released, in the context of a much sought-after conference organised by the project consortium in Copenhagen, Denmark. Twenty-five countries collaborated for this fourth edition of the survey and delivered data on a broad range of indicators used to assess the economic and social conditions of student life in Europe. The project is coordinated by Hochschul Informations System GmBH (HIS) and is funded mainly by the European Commission, with some notable contributions from the German and Dutch ministries of education, as well.

The underlying finding of the report is the heterogeneity of the European student population, a feature which is evident across all aspects analysed in the context of the study. More specifically, the study provides a wide range of data on a number of issues, namely the

  • transition routes into higher education;
  • characteristics and the social make-up of national student populations;
  • types and modes of study;
  • time management for studies and employment;
  • levels and sources of student financial resources;
  • patterns of living expenses and student spending;
  • types of accommodation;
  • student mobility and
  • students’ assessment of their studies and future plans.

The study aims to contribute substantively to the advancement of discussions in Bologna Process circles around the social dimension and student mobility in higher education.  On the specific issue of temporary study abroad the report shows, amongst other findings, that many countries are close to reaching the Bologna 20% mobility target, if all types of stays abroad – from study, to internships, language courses and summer schools – are taken into account. Importantly, in measuring the rate of temporary stays abroad, the study sets no minimum duration for these stays. This explains, to a large extent, the fairly high rates observed in a number of European countries.

The report, though made available now in June, will be slightly re-adjusted and, together with two additional chapters, will be published in October this year.