USTREAM stands for Universities for Strategic, Efficient and Autonomous Management. 

USTREAM seeks to examine the measures that are in place in universities across Europe to enhance efficiency at operational level, and also analyse policies at system level that support universities in their efforts to operate more efficiently, with a view to identify good practice examples and develop recommendations for further development. The project addresses the question of operational efficiency in universities in a European comparative way. It offers a novel approach to the topic by tailoring it to the specificities of the higher education sector and breaking it down into three thematic dimensions:

  • efficiency in professional, operational and support services
  • efficiency in academic matters, and
  • efficiency through strategic governance.

USTREAM is co-funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme (2014).

Erasmus plus flag

USTREAM survey on efficient university management

The USTREAM survey is now closed. The questionnaire was completed by nearly 70 institutions from 21 countries across Europe. The USTREAM partners are thankful to the respondents for their time and invaluable feedback to the questionnaire. EUA is grateful to its collective members, national rectors’ conferences, for the dissemination of the USTREAM survey. 

The survey addressed efficiency at higher education institutions from three different angles: institutional frameworks, implementation practices and impact of efficiency measures. Following a structured set of questions, the survey offered the respondents a possibility to assess the current state of institutional management, governance and academic efficiency frameworks. The results of the survey will feed into the final USTREAM publication. 

USTREAM peer learning seminars on efficiency strategies and policies for universities

The USTREAM partners will organise a series of peer learning seminars for university managers and leaders as well as public authorities in June 2017 and also in the second half of 2017 and early 2018. The seminars will foster the exchange of good practices on how to develop and implement efficiency strategies and policies in the higher education context. Participation in the peer learning seminars will be funded by the USTREAM project. The call for participation will be announced shortly. If you are interested in receiving information about the call, please send us an email to

The overarching goals of the project are:
  • to inform policy-making by developing recommendations to public authorities and funders, helping to enhance efficiency and effectiveness at institutional level in universities (focusing on regulatory frameworks and setting up supporting policies);
  • to foster the dialogue between universities and public authorities on efficiency and effectiveness in university management and academic practice; 
  • to improve efficiency in university management through the transfer and dissemination of good practice examples and recommendations to university leaders and managers.

  • This will be achieved by:
  • exploring the measures put in place by universities across Europe to increase their efficiency, in professional, operational and support services, as well as academic matters and through strategic governance;
  • assessing the impact these measures have with regard to the effectiveness and quality of university activities such as education and research;
  • benchmarking regulatory frameworks of higher education systems in Europe with regard to the extent to which they enable universities to develop their own efficiency strategies and measures;
  • identifying good practice examples of efficiency strategies and policies at institutional as well as system level that may be transferable to other institutions/systems and promote them.
The USTREAM project is run by EUA in collaboration with the Irish Universities Association (IUA), Universities UK, and the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary).
The USTREAM project runs from January 2016 until December 2018. This webpage will be updated with the latest information regarding the project milestones.


For queries on the USTREAM project, please contact:

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
114, Rue du Rhône
Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96