The sixth edition of the EUROSTUDENT report – the Synopsis of indicators – has been released earlier this month at the closing conference of the EUROSTUDENT VI project, in Berlin, Germany. This important publication provides a comprehensive and comparative analysis of the study conditions and socio-economic characteristics of student life in the European higher education, but also of short-term international student mobility. The report is based on data collected by 28 countries that are members of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), for the years 2016-2018, and is accompanied by a publicly accessible database, which includes all the data collected in this project round. The EUROSTUDENT target group (i.e. the students that respond to the surveys) includes those students that are, at the time of data collection, enrolled in any national study programme regarded to be higher education in the respective country (typically ISCED levels 5, 6, and 7).
In the area of international student mobility, the report provides information on short-term mobility abroad. In such situations, the students who were previously mobile return to continue their studies at their home institution after the stay abroad. Further differentiation is made between short-term enrolment abroad (i.e. study) and non-enrolment abroad, which covers other types of activities than study abroad, i.e. internships/work placements, language courses, research stays, summer schools, and generally other study-related experiences abroad. Here are some of the main findings highlighted in this specific area:
- Overall, in more than half of the participating countries, at least 20% of students currently enrolled in higher education have some type of study-related experience abroad, typically study (enrolment) or internship abroad. Specifically, these countries are Norway, Denmark, Slovenia, France, Finland, the Netherlands, Malta, Austria, Sweden, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania, Serbia, Latvia, and Germany. Therefore, with a view to the EU/EHEA mobility target of 20% of mobile graduates by 2020, these European countries seem to have already reached this goal. At the same time, the largest shares of non-mobile students, of above 85%, can be found in Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Georgia, Portugal, and Albania.
- Students at non-universities and alternative access students tend to be less mobile.
- Enrolment abroad seems more common for university students and students enrolled in arts and humanities.
- Internships abroad are more common for non-university students and students having used alternative access routes.
- Temporary enrolment abroad is less common among students from families without higher education background.
- No clear trend over time in enrolment abroad of students without higher education background is observed.
- Internships abroad tend to be less socially selective than enrolment abroad.
- The majority of enrolments abroad is organised in the context of EU programmes in almost all countries.
- On average, two thirds of students receive contributions from parents, family or partner to fund their enrolment abroad.
- EU study grants are the largest public primary source of funding.
- Credits gained for enrolment abroad were (at least partially) recognised for three quarters of students.
- Students living with parents and students with paid employment for more than 20 hours per week less frequently plan to enrol abroad.
- The additional financial burden associated with short-term student mobility remains the biggest obstacle to enrolment abroad.
- Students with higher education background plan to continue their studies abroad to a larger than their peers without higher education background.
The EUROSTUDENT consortium is led by the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) and includes six other project partners – IHS (Austria), ResearchNed (The Netherlands), Praxis (Estonia), NCFHE (Malta), MOSTA (Lithuania), and FSO (Switzerland), while building on the network of 28 countries supporting the data collection.