U-Map Lifelong Learning Program

The U-Map Lifelong learning project is commissioned by the Directorate-General Education and Culture of the European Commission as a Lifelong Learning Programme and undertaken by CHEPS. This project is funded with the support of the European Commission through the Lifelong Learning Programme.

Implementing the U-Map classification

On the first of November 2010, the fourth U-Map Lifelong learning project started. The work carried out in the three previous projects to design a European classification of higher education institutions has produced a set of tools that can be used to enhance the transparency of the European higher education area (EHEA). The U-Map classification has been presented to international audiences and its tools are seen as an innovative and intelligent way to characterise higher education institutions. To create this impact, the U-Map classification needs to cover a substantial proportion of European higher education institutions.

The new project is geared towards increasing this coverage in a sustainable way, to allow the full functional display of the instrument, and to raising awareness of the U-Map classification. The project will result in a classification of European higher education institutions with a substantial number of identifiable higher education institutions included. The project will also result in a set of elaborate and empirically tested procedures and protocols that will be crucial for creating a reliable and sustainable classification instrument. The project will furthermore continue to work on creating an organisational basis for the U-Map classification as outlined in the report of the third project.

Details of the project

In detail, the U-Map LLL project has three main objectives:


to have a substantial number of institutions participating in U-Map;


to disseminate the project to a wider audience


to explore the institutional setting for the future U-Map.

To reach the first objective two approaches will be used:


The national approach, focusing on prefilling and the development of procedures and protocols to facilitate a ‘batch-wise’ filling of the U-Map database


The institutional approach, focusing on the recruitment of individual institutions in countries that do not participate in the national approach.

Within the national approach, we shall select two countries or regions that have databases available that allow to pre-fill part of the questionnaires. Discussions will be started with representatives of national ministries and associations of higher education institutions that have expressed their interest in becoming involved in the U-Map project after the CEIHE III project ended.

In the participating countries/regions workshops will be organized to discuss general and technical aspects of the classification and data collection with higher education institutions. The results of the national cases will be presented in national dissemination seminars.

In the institutional approach, PR activities play an important role in the recruitment of participating higher education institutions. These PR activities are focused on individual higher education institutions. The channels of communication used are the internet and presentations at (inter)national conferences. The main access point on the internet will be the U-Map website. The website will be updated to facilitate the provision of up-to-date and specific information that is needed to inform institutions and to persuade them to participate. New channels of internet based communication (like social networks) are considered. The U-Map classification will be presented at a number of (inter)national higher education conferences. The call for participation of individual higher education institutions will be part of those presentations.

Making the U-Map classification and its results visible to the higher education community (and beyond) is seen as an important element in the recruitment of institutions. That is why a number of papers and articles will be submitted for publication in popular and well read journals/magazines.

More information

Contact person:

Marike Faber

Coordinator U-Map Lifelong Learning Project

CHEPS (Center for Higher Education Policy Studies)

University of Twente, The Netherlands


This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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