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Access to Higher Education

Wider participation in higher education is a goal shared by most of the Council of Europe's member states. An educated citizenry is a major pillar of democratic security. At the same time, it is very important that no group (minorities or other) is excluded from wider access to higher education.

The project on "Access to Higher Education in Europe" was a part of the Council of Europe's regular work programme in education and culture, within the European Cultural Convention, from 1992 till 1996. It drew on the results of the Parma Conference in October 1992 on access to higher education in Europe, organised jointly with the Commission of the European Communities. It was designed to address a major policy concern of governments, who are conscious of the critical importance of a highly educated workforce to the economic future of their countries. The project also reflected the distinctive Council of Europe emphasis on equity, the needs of individuals, and the prevention of exclusion, underlined at the Vienna Summit of Heads of State and Government of the member States in October 1993.

The project focused on the articulation between higher education and its potential entrants, students in secondary schools and adult learners.

The aim of the project was to stimulate action in favour of access to quality higher education in Europe. "Access" refers to the increase and widening of participation rates, retention rates and inter-institutional transfers in institutions of higher education, particularly for persons belonging to under-represented groups.

The outputs of the project include:

Full list of publications from the project, available in electronic format is given below.

Articulation between secondary and higher education - study by D. Kallen – 1995

Access for under-represented groups – Vol 1 – report on central and Eastern Europe – 1995

Access for under-represented groups – Vol 2 – report on Western Europe – 1995

Working report part I - synthesis and recommendations – 1996

Working report part II – Activities and results - 1996

Overcoming financial barriers to access – workshop results by L. Weber – 1996

Overcoming financial barriers to access – study by D. Schäferbarthold - 1996

Access to HE for under-represented groups – report by M. Woodrow and D. Crosier – 1996

Guidance and Counselling for Higher Education – study by J. Bimrose – 1996

Admissions systems – comparative study by M.W. Scott – 1996

Guide to secondary school-leaving certificates in European countries – by S. Gabršček – 1996

Access to higher education through mobility – by T. Lajos

A study of drop out in European higher education – by J.L. Moortgat – 1996