This project is funded by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme Grant Agreement n°313082
European Union


The ETER-EUMIDA facility is a set of databases providing a register of European Higher Education Institutions and containing basic statistical information on them, including descriptors, geographical information, students and graduates, personnel, finances, and research activities. These databases, created by merging data from national statistical authorities, are the only available comprehensive information on European higher education, and thus are of fundamental value for analytical purposes.

Coverage is very extensive as both databases include not only doctorate-awarding HEIs, but also second-tier HEIs in binary systems, as well as a large number of specialized schools at the tertiary level. The two datasets are built on the same basic approach, but also display some relevant differences in coverage, data sources, methodology and especially, engineering.

RISIS aims to open both datasets to European researchers and to provide the necessary infrastructure, documentation and support for the use of the datasets. To date, the RISIS-ETER facility has opened for transnational access, and the ETER training course has been delivered four times in Rome (16.04.2015), Oslo (16.06.2015), Leiden (18.06.2015) and Wien (30.06.2015) with a total participation of 40 trainees.

Enhancing RISIS-ETER

  • – We are continuing work to clean and integrate EUMIDA data into the RISIS-ETER facility. Despite the fact that EUMIDA was the predecessor of ETER and shares with ETER most of the basic ideas and most of the variables, the EUMIDA data do not fully comply with the standards of ETER in terms of variables included, quality control and documentation. An exercise to address the inconsistencies between the two datasets will allow EUMIDA data to be incorporated in to RISIS-ETER, thereby extending the dates covered by the facility.
  • – As it stands currently, ETER is a database providing statistical information mostly on inputs (finances, staff) and on educational activities. Available information in ETER concerning research and technological outputs is quite limited. While matching will be largely made possible through the creation in RISIS of a register of public-sector organizations (OrgReg), it is proposed to include a small number of aggregated data at the HEI level, which, from the experience of previous work on EUMIDA, are particularly useful for scholarly analyses. Users could then resort to matching with other RISIS facilities in order to get more disaggregated data. The RISIS environment offers an unprecedented opportunity in this respect, as it provides access to extensive databases on scientific publication (LEIDEN RANKING), European projects (EUPRO) and patents (IFRIS-PATSTAT).

The following data are currently being considered for integration into RISIS-ETER:

  • – Publication data from the Leiden Ranking: ETER and Leiden Ranking have been successfully matched and the few diverging cases have been analysed and recoded. Indicators which will be made available will be total publication output, normalized scores, international co-publication indicators.
  • – Participation to EU-FP projects. ETER has been matched with EUPRO. Following indicators will be provided: number of participations to EU-FP, number of coordination.
  • – Additional geographical data. ETER has been matched with the OECD Functional Urban Areas classification. The corresponding codes can be made available in RISIS-ETER.
  • – Patent data from IFRIS-PATSTAT. The harmonization of organizational names in on-going once completed different patent indicators can be provided at the HEI level in RISIS-ETER.
  • – Moving forward, the technical infrastructure of the RISIS-ETER facility will allow remote access to the whole set of data from the RISIS portal. The technical infrastructure is built on similar principles as the OrgReg facility and the ETER public database, but will be expandable to integrate further data in the future. The interface will offer extensive search and download options for higher education data, similar to those available on the ETER public website. The facility will be synchronized with the ETER project database, so that users access directly to the latest ETER data; it will also be synchronized with OrgReg in order to ensure consistency of the identifiers and descriptors.

As 2017 progresses, a number of milestones will further enrich the RISIS-ETER database, and make it more accessible to users

  • – Remote access to the RISIS-ETER facility within OrgReg. Spring 2017.
  • – Integration in the RISIS-ETER facility of additional data relating to publications and European Projects. Spring 2017.
  • – Integration in the RISIS-ETER facility of the EUMIDA dataset and of patent data. Summer 2017.
  • – Additional dissemination activities of the opportunities offered by the RISIS-ETER facility for scholarly research at seminars, scientific conferences (STI,CHER, Atlanta STI conference).

Further updates will follow later in the spring and summer of 2017.