Knowledge, Diversity and Performance in European Higher Education

Knowledge, Diversity and Performance in European Higher Education

A Changing Landscape

Edited by Andrea Bonaccorsi

For the first time, data on individual European higher education institutions (rather than data aggregated at the country level) is used in order to examine a wide range of issues that are both theoretically challenging and relevant from policy-making and societal perspectives. The contributors integrate statistics on universities and colleges with other sources of information such as patents, start-up firms and bibliometric data, and employ rigorous empirical methods to address a range of key questions, including: what is the role of non-university tertiary education, such as vocational training? How important is the private sector? Are European universities internationalized? Are they efficient from the point of view of costs and educational output? Are there pure research universities in Europe? How do universities contribute to economic growth?

Chapter 1: Mapping the European higher education landscape: new insights from the EUMIDA project

Andreas Niederl, Andrea Bonaccorsi, Benedetto Lepori, Tasso Brandt, Daniela De Filippo and Ulrich Schmoch

Subjects: business and management, management and universities, economics and finance, economics of education, economics of innovation, education, economics of education, management and universities, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


The European higher education landscape is characterized by a high degree of diversity with respect to structure, mission and profile. This chapter contributes to the current debate on mapping the European higher education landscape by providing a complete census of all higher education institutions in the European Research Area as well as their characterization based on a number of descriptors and statistical data. This is made possible by a research project called EUMIDA, which was carried out for the European Commission, DG Research and Innovation, in cooperation with DG EAC and Eurostat. Going beyond the core of research-intensive universities as covered by most university rankings it is critical to understand the overall structure of higher education systems, the division of tasks between higher education subsectors and the spread of the research and educational mission. This work significantly extends previous work by some of the authors in the AQUAMETH project for the coverage of the database and the level of standardization of the collected data (Bonaccorsi and Daraio, 2007, 2009; Bonaccorsi et al., 2007; Daraio et al., 2011). The EUMIDA higher education census covers 2457 institutions in 27 European countries including all EU countries except France, plus Norway and Switzerland and covers approximately 90 per cent of the total number of students in tertiary education (ISCED levels 5 and 6).

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