What is it?
Students and researchers from non-EU countries can contribute to growth and competitiveness with their knowledge and skills. The development of excellent joint Masters and doctoral degrees are examples of actions to increase the appeal of the EU as a top study and research destination. Alumni associations also play an important role to attract more talented international students.
Why is it needed?
Europe attracts 45% of all international students but the international higher education landscape is changing rapidly. As the quality of higher education institutions in other parts of the world increases, e.g. Latin-America, Middle East and Asia, these regions become attractive destinations for international students. This changing landscape means that European universities will have to compete to attract talent from around the world.
What has been done so far?
Studying in Europe
Many Member States actively promote their own higher education systems. In 2007-2009, the European Commission developed a Study in Europe brand, focusing on the strengths of Europe as a higher education destination.
Since 2010 the Commission has participated in 10-12 educational fairs annually around the world, promoting Europe as a study and research destination and the opportunities in EU funded programmes.
Aumni organisations are active ambassadors for European higher education in their home countries, participate in study fairs and events, and serve as information multipliers concerning the possibilities to study or research in Europe.
The Commission supports two alumni associations:
What are the next steps?
During 2014 the Commission will initiate a project in close cooperation with Member States promotion agencies, to strengthen the promotion of Europe to non-European students. The commitment to the alumni will be continued under Erasmus+.