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European higher education in the world

What is it?

The European higher education in the world strategy, launched in 2013, aims to promote mobility and cooperation between universities, EU member states and no-EU countries.

The key objectives include:

  • Enhancing the overall quality of European education by facilitating peer learning, cooperation and comparison with other education providers worldwide;
  • Boosting innovation and job creation in Europe by attracting internationally mobile students and skilled migrants;
  • Broadening horizons, increasing employability and preparing students to become global citizens;
  • Influencing and engaging new audiences in a way that advances the EU's position in the world.
How is it being done?

To reach the goals of the strategy, action is needed on within the individual higher education institutions, on national and at European level.  

Member States and individual higher education institutions are encouraged to develop their own internationalisation strategies, adapted to their own situations and needs and taking into account different aspects of international mobility and cooperation.

The Commission will support Member States and higher education institutions to increase cooperation and mobility with  partner countries outside the EU, mainly through the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes. 

Why is it needed?

Higher education is at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy. Higher education institutions have a key role in ensuring that Europe becomes a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy.

Europe's higher education institutions have worked and cooperated together for decades. Now they need to start building partnerships beyond the EU's borders so that they continue to attract the most talented students and remain competitive in an increasingly globalised higher education landscape.

Europe currently hosts 45% of the 4 million students who study outside their home countries each year. They are attracted by world-class curricula, teaching excellence and cultural diversity. But if Europe is to maintain this lead against mounting competition from Asia and Latin America, the Member States and the Commission must work together to create the right conditions for international cooperation to flourish.