Closing the gap - New data on the social dimension of higher education in Europe

With a public debate on Danish higher education in the light of EUROSTUDENT


EUROSTUDENT IV family photo, 15 June 2011, Copenhagen


The social dimension is seen as one of the keys to further progress in the European Higher Education Area for the next 10 years. Many reforms are occurring in higher education, but there is little knowledge about those who are at the root of these reforms: the students. In fact, most studies and reviews over the past years have concluded that there is a dearth of information on the social dimension of higher education. One of the main comparative studies which is highlighted as an exception to this finding is EUROSTUDENT. Our project collates and analyzes survey data from across Europe to provide substantive comparisons of student life. In order to achieve this we work closely with researchers and policy-makers on national and European level.


Introduction to EUROSTUDENT. Interview after the final conference in Copenhagen, June 2011.

Promotional video of the Italian Eurostudent Survey, carried out by Fondazione Rui


On June 15 and 16 we will release our new comparative study of student life in 25 European countries. This study deals with questions such as:

  • On access to higher education: Who gets in? Are national systems more or less socially exclusive? What are the common and alternative routes into higher education? What share of students enters higher education directly after leaving school and what share postpone their access?
  • On student finances: How much money does a student have each month? Is there a large difference between richer and poorer students in the national systems? Who pays fees and who receives state support?
  • On temporary mobility periods during studies: Is the new Bologna benchmark attainable on national level? Who goes abroad? What are the main obstacles for those who have not been abroad? How do students assess their period abroad?

Our conference took place at the modern campus of the IT-University Copenhagen, Denmark. The results of the new study were presented and discussed with many national and international experts in the field. The conference was organised in conjunction with the Danish University and Property Agency and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. One of the main questions for this national ministry is: what does this study mean for us? Therefore, on the second day, a public debate with students and stakeholders from Denmark entitled "Danish higher education in the light of the results from EUROSTUDENT" took place in a student halls of residence.


EUROSTUDENT IV public debate, 16 June 2011, Copenhagen



See Danish press release and background information to the conference: Danish press release

Direct link to EUROSTUDENT Synopsis of Indicators: Synopsis of Indicators E:IV