The worldwide economic crisis continues to hinder European higher education, leaving few university systems unaffected, says a new report from the European University Association. The latest monitoring report is part of a two-year project, known as “European Universities Diversifying Income Streams,” being conducted by the Brussels-based association, which represents universities and rectors associations throughout Europe. Although the full extent of austerity measures and efforts by governments to balance budgets remains to be seen, “cuts are likely to have a significant restructuring effect on higher-education systems around Europe,” the report says.
European universities depend on public financing for nearly 75 percent of their income, on average. Many governments are also reviewing how public financing is delivered to universities, as has occurred in Britain, where the government last month passed controversial legislation that not only steeply raises tuition at universities in England beginning in the fall of 2012 but also changes how universities receive public financing.