Nepal | December 18, 2018

Study in Europe: Shape your future

Veronica Cody

Europe is a welcoming, friendly place for students from all around the world. Europe’s universities and colleges offer support and social activities to help students feel at home and happy

Illustration: Ratna Sagar Shrestha/THT

Europe has more than 4,000 higher education institutions, from top-level research establishments to small, specialised colleges, hosting about one-fifth of the world’s students. Europe is also recognised as the leading higher educational destination for international students, offering both cutting edge education, value for money and a rich cultural experience.

Over 1.4 million students from around the world came to Europe in 2012 for their higher education and the numbers are growing every year. With thousands of world-class universities, research centres and higher education institutions, Europe is the place to be. Most higher education study programmes have a “modular” structure. This means that a student can build a personalised programme by choosing several different modules or units of study each year from a wide selection.

For example, if a person is studying fashion, a student might choose one module on fashion marketing, one module on textile design, and one on ethical textile production.

The European Higher Education Area is the political process where participating countries implement reforms on higher education on the basis of common key values — such as freedom of expression, autonomy for institutions, independent students unions, academic freedom and free movement of students and staff.

Through this process, countries, institutions and stakeholders of the European area continuously adapt their higher education systems making them more compatible and strengthening their quality assurance mechanisms.

For all these countries, the main goal is to increase staff and students’ mobility and to facilitate employability. Cross-border cooperation within Europe has shaped a strong international academic community that conducts cutting-edge research.

The beauty of Europe is that it offers so much choice: world-class universities, higher education institutions and research institutes, offering hundreds of thousands of Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and PhD/Doctoral programmes, plus short-term study opportunities.

What makes European universities strong is the emphasis on creativity, innovation and support, helping students to reach their true potential.

Qualifications across Europe are comparable through the European Qualifications Framework. Most study programmes involve lectures and classes, with assessment through essays, exams and coursework.

Many also involve a period of time working in industry or working on industry-related projects. Whereas the aim of a doctorate is to break a new ground—to produce new information and ideas or to conduct original research to help advance any subject. Students may be expected to produce papers throughout a programme, and to produce a thesis for evaluation.

There were 1.58 million full time researchers in the EU-27 in 2009. Over the next decade, the European Union is actively looking to attract an additional one million researchers.

Compared to countries like the US, Canada or Australia, the tuition fees at most public universities in Europe are very low. There are also lots of scholarship opportunities and other options for financial support during studies including Erasmus scholarships.

The number of Nepali students winning Erasmus scholarships in different disciplines is growing by the year. A total of 28 Erasmus scholarship students were selected from Nepal for higher studies in the EU Member State countries in 2017. So far 217 students from Nepal have studied or are studying under the Erasmus scholarship.

Thirty-three countries are part of the European Union’s Erasmus + programme. The programme is the EU’s highly competitive flagship initiative to support higher education, training and research opportunities in Europe with generous grants. It is also open to international students, professors and academic staff as well as higher education institutions from developing countries like Nepal.

Europe is a welcoming, friendly place for students from all around the world. Europe’s universities and colleges offer support and social activities to help students feel at home and happy.

Many employers worldwide actively seek or value an international study experience when recruiting new personnel. By studying in Europe, young people will gain the skills, knowledge and experience that employers value. Studying in Europe also offers excellent networking opportunities.

Studying in Europe is not just about lectures and libraries. It is also a once-in-a-lifetime chance to discover new countries…  and to discover oneself too! From the snowy north to the sun-soaked south, across Europe one can find breath-taking beautiful landscapes, buzzing cities and vibrant cultures waiting.

This year the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal is going to hold “Study in Europe Fair 2018”, a higher education two-day fair at Hotel Annapurna on October 8 and 9 (Monday and Tuesday).

Through the fair, aspiring students will have the opportunity to interact face-to-face with representatives of leading universities from across Europe and to explore the educational, scholarship and career opportunities available in the European Union.

Cody is EU Ambassador to Nepal

A version of this article appears in print on October 08, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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