Launch of European Tertiary Education Register - a new transparency approach in higher education

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European Commission - IP/14/747   02/07/2014

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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 2 July 2014

Launch of European Tertiary Education Register - a new transparency approach in higher education

The new European Tertiary Education Register (ETER) publishes its first results today, providing easy access to information on universities in 36 countries, including all EU Member States. For the first time at European level, ETER will provide a one-stop-shop for detailed and comparable data on 2 250 institutions hosting more than 16 million students. The data includes university size, number of students and staff, subjects and degree levels covered, as well as information about research and international activities. ETER was set up with €500 000 in EU funding from the former Lifelong Learning programme (now Erasmus+).

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "Better information is necessary if we are to improve the quality of our education systems. The European Tertiary Education Register will be an invaluable resource for policy makers and universities. It will increase transparency in higher education and help develop a wider range of analysis and information, improve links between education and research, and support the diversity of higher education in Europe."

Using information from national statistical authorities, ETER will build a permanent and regularly updated database on Europe's universities. It will help policy makers to better manage the European higher education system as a whole, allow universities to compare themselves with others, and to identify opportunities for research collaboration or specialisation. It complements other data on university performance, such as U-Multirank, and system-level higher education statistics (UNESCO-UIS/OECD/Eurostat).

In addition to the 28 Member States covered, ETER provides information on universities in EEA-EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and EU candidate countries (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey).

The Register includes statistical data on institutions with more than 200 tertiary-level students. The institutions represent 85% of all the higher education students in the countries concerned. Of the countries covered, 29 delivered a full set of data. Belgium (French speaking community), Hungary, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Turkey provided a basic listing of their higher education institutions.


ETER is a follow-up to the Commission's agenda for the modernisation of Europe's higher education systems. The Register was created by a consortium involving four partners: USI – Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland; Joanneum Research, Graz, Austria; NIFU – Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education, Oslo, Norway; University of Rome La Sapienza. The ETER consortium works closely with national statistical authorities.

The foundations of ETER were explored in the so-called EUMIDA feasibility study (2009-2010). EUMIDA reviewed methodology, data availability, confidentiality and the resources needed for a full-scale exercise.

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