Universities in Europe

Higher Education in Europe

Introduction

What are the most popular Universities in each European country? uniRank tries to answer this question by publishing a list of European countries and providing a ranking of their higher-education institutions meeting the following uniRank selection criteria:

  • being chartered, licensed or accredited by the appropriate higher education-related organization in each European country
  • offering at least four-year undergraduate degrees (bachelor degrees) or postgraduate degrees (master or doctoral degrees)
  • delivering courses predominantly in a traditional, face-to-face, non-distance education format
uniRank's aim is to provide a non-academic League Table of the top Universities in each European country based on valid, unbiased and non-influenceable web metrics provided by independent web intelligence sources rather than data submitted by the Universities themselves. At the bottom of the page we also provide a brief overview of the higher education in Europe.

Snapshot of Higher Education in Europe (2020 data)

  1. European Universities World Representation

    Higher Education and Universities in Europe
  2. How many Universities are there in Europe? According to the uniRank database in 2020 there are currently 2,725 officially recognized higher-education institutions in Europe. Considering that the uniRank database includes a total number of 13,723 officially recognized higher education institutions the proportion of European Universities in the world is as follows:

    • uniRank European Universities World Representation Index: 19.9%

    Being the estimated population of the European continent around 10% of the total world population (source: United Nations' World Population Prospects, the 2015 Revision), the European Higher education system and offerings seem to be strongly overrepresented in the world at least in terms of the number of higher education institutions.


  3. Public vs Private Universities in Europe

  4. How many public and private Universities are there in Europe? Out of the total number of 2,725 recognized higher educations institutions in Europe included in the uniRank database, 1,922 are public (i.e. officially affiliated to or run by national, state or local governments) and 777 are private. The type of control of the remaining European Universities included in the uniRank database is unknown or it has not been reported.

    In terms of the number of public versus private Universities, the uniRank database shows a much higher presence of public higher education institutions in the European continent as a whole. Moreover, 194 out of the top 200 Universities in Europe (97%) are public higher education institutions. Differences and peculiarities may still exist in each European country higher education system.


  5. Non-profit vs for-profit Universities in Europe

  6. What type of entities are Universities in Europe? Out of the total number of 2,725 recognized higher educations institutions in Europe included in the uniRank database, 2,122 are non-profit and 171 are for-profit. The type of entity of the remaining European Universities included in the uniRank database is unknown or it has not been reported. As a general rule, the vast majority of European public higher education institutions are not-for-profit organisations, not necessarily in legal terms but certainly in terms of nature and institutional purposes such as role, scope and mission.


  7. Challenges for the higher education system in Europe

  8. What are the main challenges that higher education in Europe has to currently face? According to uniRank the main issues of the higher education system in Europe is the implementation of the policies of harmonization of the higher education systems started with the Bologna Process and the challenges arising from the exit of the United Kingdom higher education component from the European Union.


  9. Top 200 Universities in Europe

  10. uniRank publishes twice a year a non-academic ranking of the top 200 Universities in Europe based on valid, unbiased and non-influenceable web metrics provided by independent web intelligence sources. Please read the ranking methodology in the About Us page for more information.

    According to the 2020 uniRank University Ranking this is the list of the top 10 Universities in Europe:

    more top Universities in Europe