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Third ETER edition reveals rich insights into European higher education

The European Tertiary education register (ETER) goes into its third round, rolling out a more user friendly interface for accessing the rich data held on universities across Europe and presents new, specialised insights into the European higher education landscape.

ETER that launched in 2014 (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe July 2014), in support of the European Commission’s modernisation agenda for higher education, provides Europe-wide comparative data on individual higher education institutions as well as posing as tool for strategic planning and analysis at national level to support evidence based policy making.

Its second edition 2015, presented valuable upgrades for a near to complete coverage of students at bachelors, masters and PhD level. Currently the open and publically accessible platform holds detailed data on 2,465 higher education institutions, hosting more than 17 million students, across 32 European countries and includes multidimensional indicators as size, gender, international student and staff numbers, subject/degree levels and funding.    

Further enhancing ETER’s role as a rich source of information and its complementarity to evaluative mechanisms as U-multirank and the system-level higher education statistic (UNESCO UIS/OECD/EUROSTAT), two new ‘ETER Briefs’ are available.

In light of common challenges in Europe’s higher education landscape a new ETER analysis onsubject specialisation’ reveals:

  • Europe, in its core, as characterised by generalist institutions. While traits and the rationale for building specialised institutions diverge substantially between countries, a common trend emerges in specialized universities - those private often focusing on Social sciences, Business and Law, contrasted by those public covering Engineering, Humanities and arts disciplines.   

The newest insights offered about thehistory and demography of European higher education intuitions, reflecting on their embeddedness in environments of constant change, show: 

  • Older universities to enrol a large share of Bachelor and most PHD students, the 1970s marking the rise of applied science universities, and while closures are rather rare (mainly affecting private institutions) mergers have become a frequent phenomenon.  

ETER becoming increasingly comprehensive as an open data platform, moving closer to its users, it continuous to grow in value for practitioners and policy makers looking to identify research collaborations and manage their HEI systems better - its forthcoming ‘brief’ promising rich insights into student mobility.

New ETER briefs (on subject specialisation & history and demography of European higher education intuitions)