Higher education in the EU: Approaches, issues and trends

In-Depth Analysis 30-03-2015

The performance and quality of higher education has become a vital sign of a country’s capacity to foster its future economic development. The race for talent is currently open on a global scale. In spite of the fact that the United States is still the global leader with 17% of international students, the EU is increasingly popular with the United Kingdom, France and Germany accounting respectively for 13%, 6%, and 6% of world students. One of the elements accounting for the global attraction of EU universities resides in relatively lower tuition fees compared to American universities. Likewise, efforts made to develop quality and accreditation frameworks for mobility within the EU place Europe at the top of the most advanced global regions in this respect. While EU universities took more time to develop Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), they now account for approximately one quarter of MOOCs in the world and the numbers are constantly rising. Since May 2014, the EU has also its own global ranking system: U-Multirank. Even though it is difficult to predict in what ways technological change will affect higher education in the longer term, it is clear that sustained effort and on-going international cooperation will be required to improve current structures and take full advantage of the impact of new technologies.