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

The RISIS-ETER dataset

The RISIS-ETER 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.

The facility includes data for HEIs in the years 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 derived from three sources:

  • The ETER main database including data on the years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. It is identical to the official ETER version available at the ETER website. Data for the years 2015 and 2016 will be available in summer 2018 and 2019 respectively.
  • The EUMIDA database including data on the year 2008.
  • Additional data from other RISIS facilities including publication indicators from the Leiden ranking, EU-FP participation and coordination from EUPRO and patent data from IFRIS-PATSTAT (under preparation).

Country coverage

Coverage currently includes all EU-28 countries, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Serbia, Switzerland and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Some countries are missing for some years due to non-delivered data.

HEI coverage

RISIS-ETER includes institutions for which a major activity is graduating at least at level 5 of the ISCED-2011 classification of education degrees. HEIs delivering tertiary education as a side activity and HEIs with less than 200 students and 30 full-time equivalents of staff are excluded. ETER includes almost all HEIs graduating at ISCED level 6 (bachelor), 7 (master) or 8 (doctorate), while HEIs delivering only professional diplomas (level ISCED 5) are mostly excluded.

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 estimated coverage of tertiary education at the bachelor, master and PhD is around 100%.

Time coverage

Data are available for the years 2008, 2011 to 2014.

Variables and indicators

The dataset includes following main groups of variables:

  • Institutional descriptors: the name of the institution, the foundation year, type of institution.
  • Geographical descriptors: NUTS2 and 3 region, the city of the main seat and its postcode, geographical coordinates, information on other campuses.
  • Data on numbers of students and graduates divided by ISCED-2011 level, by gender, fields of education, nationality and mobility. Data on Erasmus students are additionally provided.
  • Data on HEI expenditures (personnel, non personnel, capital) and revenues (core, third-party and fees).
  • Data on the number of staff, divided between academic and non-academic, as well as on the number of professors.
  • Data on research activities: PhD students and graduates, R&D expenditures, participations to EU-FP programs, publication numbers and citation indicators.

Availability of data is excellent for descriptors and geographical information, very good for students and graduates (with a few breakdowns missing), reasonable for staff data and limited for financial data.

Access and conditions of usage

Distant access to RISIS-ETER data is possible within RISIS through the CorTexT authentication system. Users can create a CorTexT account here and accept the RISIS code and conduct for usage of data. Afterwards, users can access the RISIS-ETER data through orgreg.joanneum.at by selecting the HEI database tab on the top of the page.

Users can perform searches and download either the whole dataset or parts of it in Excel format. It is also possible to download metadata, demographic information on the included HEIs and methodological information on the project.

National Statistical Agencies and/or Ministries of Research and Higher Education are the owners of most data in ETER, with the exception of descriptors which have been collected by the consortium from public sources. The owner of the whole dataset is the European Commission.

Public access is available for most of the data. Some data are available for research purposes only. For these data, restricted access under a non-disclosure agreement is foreseen.

EUMIDA data and data from other RISIS facilities are subject to the RISIS Code of Conduct. In particular, following conditions of usage are crucial:

  • They can be used solely for purposes of scientific research. Any use for commercial purposes, like the provision of for-paying services, is excluded.
  • Data have to be published in a way, which makes impossible the identification of the specific entity considered and the attribution of a cell value to that entity.

Future developments

As a next step of development, it is foreseen to integrate patent data derived from IFRIS-PATSTAT. Further steps will be to extend the facility to further years in the past, in order to enhance value for longitudinal analysis, integrating further years from ETER and integrating data from IPEDS on US universities.

Reports and working papers