Policy field(s)


Period of Consultation

27/11/2015 to 29/02/2016

Target group(s)

All stakeholders and individuals interested in or affected by policies in the field of higher education, including:

  • students,
  • higher education institution staff and researchers,
  • social partner organisations representing employers and workers,
  • governmental bodies,
  • relevant associations, and
  • umbrella organisations.

Objective of the consultation

The European Union aims to support higher education institutions and national authorities responsible for higher education to build highly effective higher education systems. The EU's priorities in the area of higher education are currently set out in its "Agenda for the modernisation of Europe's higher education systems"

In a fast changing world, it is important that the EU's priorities and activities reflect the real needs of higher education in Europe. For this reason, the European Commission is currently reviewing the existing agenda to ensure what it does is as useful as possible.

As part of this review, the objective of the consultation was to collect the views of stakeholders about the current situation in Europe's higher education systems, as well as on priorities for change. Specifically, the consultation questionnaire focused on:

  1. the current strengths and weaknesses of higher education in the EU
  2. the priority areas where those in charge of higher education should focus their attention and
  3. how you think the EU should support efforts to improve higher education.

Responses received

A total of 1,485 responses were received, including 1,005 from individuals and 480 from institutions or organisations (excluding duplicate answers from 8 respondents answering both as an individual and as a representative of an organisation). An overview of the results is available.

Analysis of the results

A detailed analysis of the results from the public consultation can be found in the report on the consultation, which has been used to underpin the New Skills Agenda for Europe, adopted by the Commission on 10 June 2016.


Responsible service: Directorate-General for Education and Culture – Unit B1
Postal address:

European Commission
Directorate General for Education and Culture
B1 – Higher Education
J 70 05/022
B-1049 Brussels