What ETER tells us about the history and demography of European HEIs (ETER brief 2)

This brief shows how higher education in Europe is continuously subject to change, with new entries, mergers and foundations of new institutions. The main highlights are:

  • European higher education is formed of layers created in different historical periods and with different policy goals.
  • Older universities, mostly founded before the 20th century, still enrol a large share of undergraduate students and most PhD students.
  • Universities of applied sciences only became significant in numbers and students from the 1970s.
  • Mergers and consolidations into larger institutions occur rather frequently, while HEI closures are rare and limited to private HEIs.