Classifying European Institutions for higher education (stage II)

Towards a classification

The growing consensus with respect to the principle and value of diversity is a solid basis for further policy development in the European Higher Education and Research Areas. But in order to make diversity useful it needs to be understood. Therefore, a logical next step for Europe with respect to transparancy measures is the development of a classification of higher education institutions.

A better understanding of the various types of higher education institutions, their mission and provisions, will support the European aim of increasing student mobility, inter-institutional and university-industry cooperation, the recognition of degrees and hence the international competitiveness of European higher education. Consequently, the development of a classification of higher education institutions in Europe is directly linked to the aims of the Bologna process and the Lisbon strategy. We argue that a classification must contribute to the needs of different stakeholders:


Transparency for students


Transparency for business & industry and other organisations


Facilitate consortia formation between institutions


Enhance system transparency


A basis for diversified policy approaches


A methodological and analytical tool for research

The project

The CEIHE II project is a follow up of the CEIHE project. Click here for the report of that project). Started in September 2006, the project finalised in May 2008. The project was run by an international project team, lead by prof. dr. Frans van Vught. The project team benefits from the advice of an advisory board, in which large number of (associations of) higher education institution participate, and of a stakeholder group, comprising stakeholders and interest groups.

Final report Mapping Diversity available

The final report of the CEIHE II project 'Mapping Diversity' is published.

A pdf version of the report is available here

CEIHE III is U-map

U-Map is the third phase of the CEIHE project.

In this phase we will evaluate and fine-tune the dimensions and their indicators and bring them into line with other relevant indicator initiatives; finalise a working on-line classification tool; articulate this with the classification tool operated by the Carnegie Foundation; develop a final organisational model for the implementation of the classification; and continue the process of stakeholder consultation and discussion that has been a hallmark of the project since its inception in 2005.

Further information


For further information on the project or any comments you may contact:

David Bohmert

Project secretariat

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

This web content reflects the views only of the author. The Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.