23 April 2015 | Report

DEFINE Thematic Report: University Mergers in Europe

Enora Bennetot Pruvot, Thomas Estermann and Peter Mason

“University mergers in Europe” is the second thematic report published by EUA as part of the DEFINE project. DEFINE explores strategies for efficient funding of universities in Europe, looking in particular at excellence initiatives, university mergers and performance-based funding mechanisms. 


The present report focuses on mergers and concentration processes. These have been identified as a key issue for DEFINE because of their function in potentially increasing efficiency for higher education at both institutional and system level. The view that, by gaining mass, universities can find economies of scale and rationalise the use of resources, enabling them to function more cost-effectively, has been an important driver for merger and concentration processes. However, because of the scale and nature of the process, there is a lack of comprehensive evaluation at system and institutional level.

This report intends to provide a Europe-wide analysis of trends in merger processes. It begins with a comprehensive overview of the main trends in the development of merger and concentration processes from both a system-level and institutional perspective (see part 1). It then proceeds to consider these trends from the angle of ‘efficiency’ (part 2) and the different ways in which the process may be managed to achieve positive results (part 3).

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