Tag: transparency

News: European Tertiary Education Register database published

eterYesterday, 2nd of July,  it was announced that the new European Tertiary Education Register (ETER) database is now published and accessible for users. The database represents a “new transparency approach to higher education“, according to the press release by the European Commission.

In the press release, Androulla Vassiliiou, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth commented on the potential of new register: “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.“.

The ETER database provides detailed information on 2250 higher education institutions in Europe, including such information as:

  • Institutional descriptions, e.g. the name of the institution and founding year.
  • Geographical description such as region, city of the main seat and postcode.
  • Numbers of students and graduates at diploma, bachelor, master, doctoral level, gender, fields of education, nationality and mobility.
  • HEI expenditure and revenue.
  • Number of academic and non-academic staff, number of professors.
  • Research activities (PhD students, R&D expenditure)

Guest blogger: University autonomy in Austria – a review

Philipp Friedrich

This guest entry is written by Hedda master student Philipp Friedrich, who is currently a second year master student at the Hedda Master Programme in Higher Education. Philipp has earlier studied history and political science in University of Vienna in Austria. In the post he examines the recent developments in Austrian higher education regarding institutional autonomy. 

Much has changed in the last ten years since Austrian universities were reformed by the Universities Act 2002. The idea behind this law was to prepare Austrian universities for a global future where a changing environment forces universities to flexibly respond  to new developments and demands, where the international dimension of science becomes more and more important and where funding of education becomes unstable and unpredictable due to public spending cuts. How can the Austrian universities act and succeed under these circumstances? How will they be able to deal with issues like massification, the implementation of the Bologna reform, while simultaneously guaranteeing high quality and performance in research, teaching and learning?  Less political interference, economic benchmarks and university autonomy are seen as a possible solution to these challenges.

The most challenging issue in the recent years has been the massification at Austrian universities, especially through a growing number of foreign students. Austrian universities are attractive for (European) students because they do not increase tuition fees[1] in general and provide free choice and access to higher education. This led partly to very problematic situations and insufficient conditions in research, teaching and learning. Another factor that intensifies this issue is the implementation of the Bologna reform because now the universities have to restructure their study programs – introducing the three-tier-system with bachelor, master and PhD – while simultaneously terminating the old diploma and doctoral programs step by step. So over the years Austrian universities are having multiple burdens because they maintain the new and the old study system.