Study in Europe
EuroEducation is the guide for international students aiming to study in Europe.
Over 900 universities, academies, schools and colleges in Europe are presented with useful information designed to help undergraduate and graduate students in choosing a wide variety of academic and professional courses in Arts, Business, Economics, Engineering, Humanities, MBA, Management, Science, Technology, English and other Languages...
The undergraduate and graduate programme profiles include: description of courses and schools, contact details, application procedures, admission requirements, cost of studies, scholarships, grants, degrees/ qualifications awarded and other relevant information. All listed schools are supplied with response forms linked to their admission offices to answer student enquiries and applications.
The EuroEducation Course Search is constantly updated to include the latest information available directly from the universities and colleges presented.
We also offer assistance on study abroad by featuring a fine selection of schools, colleges and universities in the USA and Canada with information on their undergraduate and graduate programs.
University funding and entrance exams
European universities are usually exclusively state-funded. This is a double problem in my opinion. First of all, it consumes a lot of tax-payer's money, and therefore requires higher tax levels. The 2nd problem is that universities want as many students as possible because they get paid per registered head.
University extrance exams do not exist in Belgium, except at some non-universitary tertiary education schools (usually called "college" in English speaking countries). The results are disastrous. When I studied economics, there were 600 students in a single auditorium in the first year, then 200 in the 2nd year, 100 in the 3rd, and finally 80 in the 4th. With a 10-15% gradutation rate, it is self-evident that entrance exams are needed, as so many people are wasting precious years of their lives for nothing, and cost a lot of tax-payer money. So why hasn't it changed yet ? Because universities are happy to get more funds, even if that means that the quality is mediocre with 600 students per professor.
Entrance exams are not as an easy solution as it seems. University could make the exams too easy to get more students (and funds). So what about giving the funds only for students that pass their academic year ? This is even more stupid, as the level would immediately go down so that universities get what they want - money !
My idea would be to have entrance exams supervised directly by the state (who granst the money), so that they are difficut enough, and that after that most of the students manage to graduate.
Universities could get more funds from philanthropists, former students and especially companies (who get the best students in exchange). Education should remain free in any case.
length of schooling and university.
The number of years of compulsory education varies between EU countries. Belgium has one of the longest (compulsory until 18 years old). In the UK, school is compulsory from 5 years old instead of 6 elsewhere.
In Germany, there are 13 years of primary and secondary education before univesity (except in 1 state where it's 12 like elsewhere). What is more, German people cannot skip a year, if for instance a 6-year old child can already read and write and has a good level enough in maths. In most other countries it is possible. Another constraint is that students enter school according to their age during the school year (starting from August or September in Germany) rather calendar year. It means that a child born in June and another one in September of the same year will be in different school years in Germany. In my opinion, those two systems (no skipping and age according to school year) are ridiculous and should be changed, especially that German students already have 1 more year before university, and military service for men. So, some German people enter university 3 years later than other European (even 4 years later than British people who start school at 5 years old).
I don't mind that compulsory education start at 5 or 6 or finishes at 16, 17 or 18 (not before though). But instead of the age, I think that compulsory education should be about the level of education attained. So if one has to repeat a year once or twice, they should stay one or two years longer at school than others. Likewise, those who skip a year or progress more quickly in the class-by-ability system would be able to complete compulsory education earlier than others. This would be a good motivation to take school more seriously to avoid repeating a year and try to get the best grades possible. Those who complete "compulsory education" qualify to enter tertiary education, whatever their age. Those who fail more than 3 or 4 years could try to pass an easier version of the final test or drop some subjects, but would not be allowed in tertiary education.
University should probably be 3 years (like in English-speaking countries) instead of 4, and be more specialised (i.e. drop optional subjects of general knowledge, as people can learn them by themselves or would have learnt them at school)