Earlier, the European educational system used to vary from country to country. In some countries of Europe, the graduation program lasted for three years with a Master’s program as the next step. Whereas, In some other countries of Europe, the graduate program lasts four years with PhD as the next step. This impeded the mobility of students from both within Europe and outside Europe. International students, who intended to diversify their education by completing a course in one country and then move to another country, were unable to do so.
Thus, it became imperative to establish a standard educational system to achieve the aim of becoming the seat of education in the modern era. In the year 1999, 29 countries signed the Bologna Declaration, to meet this objective. Hence, creating the European Higher Education Area to finalise the common standards and guidelines for quality assurance. The signatories of the deceleration have to provide evidence, regularly, stating and confirming to the criteria. Further verification, was done by external agencies formed specifically for this purpose.
The higher education system, which is now standardised, has three parts namely, Bachelors Level, Masters Level, and the Doctorate Level. Students have to follow that order without skipping a level. However, students need not stick to one faculty or university. Since Europe now has a standardised education system, a student can choose a different institute in a different country and complete his/her studies there.
Even after standardising the education system and quality, there still existed differences in the style of teaching. For example, two universities offering the same course had a different approach to teaching. A student studying in one college was required to submit only one assignment in a year, whereas a student studying the same course in another college was required to submit two assignments in a year. To bring fairness and to better structure the grading standard, a system of credits was established. The students could transfer the earned credits among educational institutions of the member countries of the European Union.
Courses and Cost
Educational institutions in Europe offer a variety of classes ranging from Agriculture, Environmental Studies, Arts, Business Management, Medicine, Veterinary Studies, Fashion, and other courses. The United Kingdom is the most preferred education destination in Europe.
The cost of learning varies from country to country, however obtaining a high-quality education in Europe is reasonable and offers value for money. Few countries, like Germany, also offer the option of free education to students or charge a nominal university fee of € 150 - € 250. More than 40 universities from Germany have a place in the QS World University Ranking. The highest position was taken by Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg offering courses ranging from Ancient History to Biochemistry and from Computer Linguistics to Philosophy.
Universities in the European Union
European educational system offers over 54,890 bachelors courses and 53,948 masters' courses for students to choose from. Quacquarelli Symonds [QS] World University Rankings include over 348 European Universities in the top 900 universities in the world, in other words, 38% of the top 900 universities are located in Europe.
United Kingdom has 71 entries followed by Germany with 43 and the third place taken by France with over 39 universities getting a place in the QS World University Rankings. Even Switzerland, which is a relatively smaller country, has two universities featuring in the world rankings with ETH Zurich coming in 8th and Ecole Polytechnic coming in 14th position.
The University of Cambridge, which is one of the oldest universities in the world, takes the top spot in the European University Rankings. The University is world-renowned in the field of research and is one of the largest university in the United Kingdom. It offers 30 undergraduate courses in 65 topics stretching from Architecture to Veterinary Medicine and from Music to Chemical Engineering.