Studying in Europe

Europe is on the frontier of academia and research with some of the best institutions and higher education systems worldwide. However, both major and minor differences still exist in European higher education as each country has a very different history and approach to higher education and learning. This section of the EU SATURN website aims to give you a brief overview of the main similarities and differences between educational structures in Europe. This will help you make a deliberate decision on where to study and what to expect.

Why Come to Europe?

Europe has a world-wide reputation as a centre of excellence in learning. Year after year, European universities rank prominently among the top universities in the world by the Shanghai and Times Higher Education. Our European  partners can offer state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge research opportunities together with the chance to live in an intellectually stimulating, diverse and modern environment.

Bologna Reforms

The process of educational reform has been extensive in Europe since the Bologna declaration was signed in 1999. Today, 47 countries are committed to the creation of a European Higher Education Area, which envisages to:

  • Facilitate mobility of students, graduates and higher education staff;
  • Prepare students for their future careers and for life as active citizens in democratic societies, and support their personal development;
  • Offer broad access to high-quality higher education, based on democratic principles and academic freedom.

Major reforms have taken place in the following areas:

  • Easily readable and comparable degrees organised in a three-cycle structure (e.g. bachelor-master-doctorate): Countries are currently setting up national qualifications frameworks that are compatible with the overarching framework of qualifications for the European Higher Education Area and define learning outcomes for each of the three cycles.
  • Quality assurance in accordance with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).
  • Fair recognition of foreign degrees and other higher education qualifications in accordance with the Council of Europe/UNESCO Recognition Convention.