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European Universities Diversifying Income Streams

What is EUDIS?

The EUDIS project was run by EUA in collaboration with HUMANE network, the University of Bologna and the Bavarian State Institute for Higher Education Research and Planning. It was co-funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme.

EUDIS aimed at mapping the status of income diversification in European universities and sought to provide useful examples of best practices. It promoted the institutional perspective on the topic of funding, with a view to informing national and European policy makers of how best to facilitate a sensible diversification of income streams. It offered a unique opportunity, in these uncertain times of economic downturn, to ensure that the universities’ voice is heard.
More information about the project is available here.

Beiträge zur Hochschulforschung: Towards financially sustainable universities by diversifying income sources

EUA and the Bavarian State Institute for Higher Education Research and Planning (IHF), partner to the EUDIS project, have jointly produced a special edition of the academic journal “Beiträge zur Hochschulforschung” (Contributions to Higher Education Research), focusing on income diversification for universities. This issue is a collection of articles whose authors have been involved in the EUDIS project. The publication complements EUA’s report by exploring case studies that illustrate some of the major findings of the EUDIS project.

The publication is available here.

EUDIS final report: Financially sustainable universities II – European universities diversifying income streams

EUA has published a comprehensive new report on the financial sustainability of European universities.

This report underlines that universities need both sufficient resources, and a long-term planning horizon to invest in their future academic and research activities, and thus to continue fulfilling their role in society. EUA believes that future financial sustainability depends on reliable, sufficient public funding, and on the autonomy and support necessary to explore successfully complementary funding options.

The report gives a detailed description of how European universities are currently financed, and looks into the sector’s expectations for future evolutions. It also analyses the many different barriers currently preventing universities from pursuing additional income streams (considering internal challenges and external regulatory barriers) and the possible drivers for stimulating ‘income diversification’. Importantly, the study reveals that additional funding sources cannot replace sufficient public funding. It concludes with a series of recommendations for creating more sustainable funding models for the future.

Download the report here.

Download the press release to read some of the main conclusions and recommendations from the report.


EUDIS Launch Event, Permanent Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the European Union (22 February 2011)

EUA presented its major new study European universities diversifying income streams at a launch event on 22 February in Brussels.

As part of EUA’s series Towards financially sustainable universities, this report provides an overview of the status of income diversification in European universities. It also identifies the conditions and success factors needed to implement income diversification strategies that help sustain the academic mission of higher education institutions.

Consult the programme of the event here as well as the presentation of the project findings here.


EUA’s monitoring: the impact of the economic crisis on higher education in Europe

EUA has been monitoring the evolution of the economic crisis and its effect on higher education systems in Europe since its onset in 2008 and has published a series of short reports.

The latest update please visit the Public Funding Observatory.


EUDIS Experts Conference, University of Bologna (13-14 September 2010)

This high level conference brought together experts from across Europe to identify the key elements necessary for financial sustainability in the future. University leaders, policy makers, researchers and partners from the private sector discussed the results of the EUDIS project and further explored the key features and conditions for implementing successful income diversification strategies.

On the basis of key-note presentations, case studies from across Europe and expert sessions, the Conference:

•    raised awareness of crucial aspects of diversification of funding that contribute to financial sustainability
•    shared the first findings of the EUDIS project  
•    investigated the challenges that diversified funding brings for leading, managing and governing institutions
•    showed institutional and external success factors for broadening the funding base
•    analysed the impact of the economic downturn on universities and their ability to diversify their funding structure.

For more information, please see the conference website.
Or see the conference report.

EUDIS seminar, University Carlos III, Madrid (16-17 October 2009)

EUA and HUMANE organised, from 16-17 October 2009, a joint EUDIS seminar focused on income diversification strategies in universities across Europe. Over 50 university leaders and experts as well as representatives of public authorities, representing 20 European countries, gathered in Madrid to reflect on the preliminary findings of the EUDIS survey around the following themes: seizing regional opportunities; external incentives to diversify income; challenges and complexity of multiple funding streams; challenges and opportunities of the economic downturn. The findings of the survey were largely confirmed by the experiences that participants shared from their national contexts.

The seminar’s discussions highlighted the following key messages:

•    Diversified funding cannot and should not replace the authorities’ commitment to publicly fund higher education
•    Universities must have the right framework conditions, in particular the ability to establish efficient governance bodies and to receive sufficient support for the ‘professionalisation’ of management, for successful income diversification
•    Funders need to take action to streamline eligibility conditions and accountability requirements in order to reduce the administrative burden on higher education institutions. 

The outcomes of the seminar  and all presentations can be downloaded here: (and also on the HUMANE website)

•    Mikel Tapia - Introduction 
•    Thomas Estermann – EUDIS preliminary findings 
•    Adrian Graves – Seizing regional opportunities to diversify funding 
•    Kari Balke Oiseth – The Donation Reinforcement Programme 
•    Ramona Todericiu – Challenges in accessing European structural funds 
•    Thomas Estermann – EUA monitoring of the crisis 
•    Gundars Berzins – The impact of the crisis on institutional strategy 
•    Xavier Puente – Multiple funding streams 

EUDIS survey

The EUDIS online survey was open from May to October 2009. EUA thanks all universities that have taken part in the EUDIS survey, which has provided very rich input into the project.

European University Association (EUA)

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

Geneva office:
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Tel: +41 22 552 02 96