Eurypedia – A new service for the Education community in Europe – Higher education

Eurypedia is a new Eurydice product and aims at presenting the most accurate picture of national education systems across Europe. Whether you are looking for understanding a specific education system or for analysing an education issue at European level, Eurypedia will provide you with the most exhaustive information on 38 school and university systems. This first version is currently under completion. All articles will be finalised in December 2011. Please let us know what you think by sending an email to the Eurypedia team. We are very interested in your feedback. Eurypedia offers comprehensive descriptions of 38 European education systems, usually at national level, but sometimes also at regional level. All information is available in English with some national information available in the language of the country or region concerned. Aiming at providing the most accurate picture of education systems and latest reforms in Europe, Eurypedia is a resource tool which is regularly updated and completed by the Eurydice Network and its National Units. Powered by MediaWiki, it involves education experts and national ministries responsible for education from across Europe. Created in 1980, the Eurydice Network is a reputable European-wide information provider on education, analysing European education systems and policies and contributing to spreading knowledge in the field. As of 2011, it consists of 37 national units based in all 33 countries participating in the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme (EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). It is co-ordinated and managed by the EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) in Brussels, which drafts its studies and provides a range of online resources. Please note that EACEA does not hold any responsibility regarding Eurypedia content.

Higher Education

1 Introduction The introduction outlines the general higher education policy objectives, and the main features of how higher education is organised including the roles of different types of existing institutions and programmes. The main provisions of relevant higher education laws (decrees, decisions, at ministerial/regional level)are also explained, with links to relevant legislation. The structure of the academic year is included for each country. In addition, a comparative document on the organisation of the academic year is annually updated by the Eurydice national units in the publication “Organisation of the academic year in higher education”.

2 Types of institution A brief description of the various categories of institutions is provided, indicating the nature of the differentiation made. For example, differentiation may be on the basis of research mission, the types of programmes (academic vs professional), publicly funded vs privately funded etc. Where a university and non-university sector are distinguished, this is made clear.

3 First Cycle Programmes First, bachelor programmes are presented through the main branches of study, their normal structure and length and the various stages or levels into which programmes may be divided with reference to National Qualifications Frameworks. Are also detailed admission requirements (general and alternative routes), curriculum, teaching methods, progression of students, graduate employability, student assessment and certification. Second, short-cycle higher education is described when applicable along the same lines: branches of study, admission requirements (general and alternative routes), curriculum, teaching methods, progression of students, graduate employability, student assessment and certification. Third, any organisational variation such as for example, distance learning, open universities, etc. are explained through their general objectives, their admissions criteria, programme of activities and methodological emphasis. All information on recognition and validation of foreign degrees or other qualifications are described in the chapter on the Mobility and International Dimension in Education.

4 Second Cycle Programmes (Master Programmes) Those programmes are presented through the main branches of study, their normal structure and length. Are also detailed admission requirements (general and alternative routes), curriculum, teaching methods, progression of students, graduate employability, student assessment and certification.

5 Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure This section describes variations in degree programmes (for example, degree programmes where the length is unusually long, and/or programmes that begin with a first cycle entry but end in a second cycle degree etc.). As for the other programmes, the general objectives of these alternative structures are explained as well as the branches of study where they are to be found, their admissions criteria and any other differences that exist in comparison to the typical bachelor and master programmes.

6 Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes The organisation of doctoral studies is presented through the main branches of study at this level of education by grouping them into categories, such as humanities and arts, science, mathematics and computing, health and welfare, social sciences, business and law, etc. as well as the normal length of each branch in years and the various stages into which it may be divided. This extends to a description of the organisation of structured doctoral studies in doctoral schools or graduate schools and any specific distinction in the structure of doctoral education (for example, « professional doctorates »). Are also detailed admission requirements (general and alternative routes), status of doctoral students/candidates, supervision arrangements, graduate employability, assessment, certification and any organisational variation.