Master’s level education in Europe – Towards a comprehensive approach from recruitment to graduation

Amsterdam, 17 May 2016


In the post-Bologna era, the introduction of the two-tier structure of study programs and degrees opened a new stage of development for international higher education on the ‘old continent’. At a time when internationalisation was moving from the periphery of institutional activity to the heartland of institutional action and strategy, and when the international mobility of students was becoming a real mantra, the newly-introduced (in most countries) Master’s level became a new gateway into the higher education systems of most European countries, opening a new wave of international and internal (intra-country) student mobility.

Unsurprisingly, the introduction of the Master’s level in many European countries was rapidly followed by the establishment of similar programs in English, particularly in countries with not so widely spoken languages, English becoming rapidly the lingua franca of international higher education. In the past 15 years, the European higher education system saw an unprecedented development of study programs, initially partly and now mostly fully-taught in the English language, from roughly 700 programs in the early 2000s to an estimate of roughly 8 000 in 2014, according to three surveys of English-Taught Programs (ETPs) conducted by the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), between 2001 and 2014.

These changes were rapidly followed by an increase and professionalisation of marketing and student recruitment activities by European universities, especially at Master’s level, and by important changes in the admission practice, students’ services, marking also the start of alumni relations in most European higher education institutions. Yet, while significant efforts and resources have been and are invested in these activities, anecdotal evidence tells us that in most higher education institutions in Europe, and not only, these related activities, which are carried out by separate units at university level are rarely in sync with each other. 

This one-day seminar, which will take place on 17 May 2016 in Amsterdam, will explore the need to have a comprehensive approach at Master’s level, by strategically and systematically linking marketing practices with admissions requirements, student services and alumni relations (i.e. creating a link between processes that are at present disconnected in many, if not most, European universities).

Prompted by experienced speakers and fascinating case examples from Europe and the United States of America, the participants will

· look into and debate the challenges of establishing a comprehensive approach at Master’s level,

· explore and share experiences on how to be successful in marketing, admissions and student services at the Master’s level, and

· brainstorm on how to develop sound links between these different activities, i.e. develop what is called in the US higher education context - ‘Graduate Enrolment Management (GEM)’

To find out more about the event, explore the Programme and the Speakers pages.

50th in the series “European Policy Seminars” of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA)