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European Education Area

Quality education and training for all

International cooperation and policy dialogue

EU priorities for higher education

The European Union’s (EU) five main priorities in the field of higher education are:

  • To advance the EU as a centre of excellence in education and training
  • To support partner countries outside the EU in their efforts to modernise their education and training systems
  • To promote common values and closer understanding between different peoples and cultures
  • To support higher education institutions in Member States and beyond in their efforts to internationalise national education and training systems
  • To improve the quality of education and training services in the EU and beyond through mutual learning, comparison and the exchange of best practices

How cooperation builds better global education

Cooperation with non-EU Member States enhances the quality of education and training in the EU and beyond by promoting peer learning and comparative analysis between national education systems worldwide. It boosts innovation and job creation through mobility, and offers opportunities for staff and students to broaden their horizons through participation in EU programmes.

Europe’s universities have a strong record of internationalisation. They have facilitated the development of international curricula and joint degrees, fostered international research and innovation projects, and supported the exchange of students, staff and knowledge.

This has all been made possible by the Bologna process, under which European countries have agreed to restructure their higher education systems to make cross-border cooperation more feasible and more effective.

The EU’s international policy dialogues with countries outside Europe, therefore, often draw on this expertise and experience of the need for internationalisation to go hand in hand with policy reform.