28 Mar 2019   |   News byte

Spending less on more students puts higher education systems in danger, says EUA

higher education

A report by the European University Association (EUA) sees higher education systems in England, Greece, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Serbia to be “in danger”, citing funding cuts paired with increasing student cohorts over a nine-year period, from 2008 to 2017.

Over the same period, 12 higher education systems are “shrinking” or “declining under pressure” in countries where both public funding and size of student body have been decreasing since 2008.

Countries in central and eastern Europe also report negative trends, both in terms of student enrolment and public funding. Poland is one exception, as it continues to invest in public universities in response to brain drain and shrinking student cohorts.

At the other end of the spectrum, such as Austria, Germany or Sweden report significant funding growth, followed closely by France and the Netherlands.

The data comes from EUA’s Public Funding Observatory, an analysis of 33 higher education systems in Europe, launched in 2008 with the aim to monitor the impact of the financial crisis on higher education in different countries across Europe.

The full report is available here.

*Shorter timeframes are used for the following systems:
  • EE (2008-2016), FI (2010-2016), GR (2008-2015), LV (2008-2016), SI (2008-2016), UK-sc (2010-2017), UK-wa (2010-2017) For UK data calculations do not include publicly subsidised student loans. Finland: the change in student numbers over 2010/2016 is -0.28%.
**UK-SC = Scotland, UK-NI = Northern Ireland, UK-EN = England, UK-WA = Wales

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