Variables and methodological issues
Total current revenues. This variable measures the amount of money received by the HEI in the reference period, excluding non-recurring revenues, such as state contributions for investment, which are recorded separately. Both education and research revenues are included; revenues from ancillary activities and subsidiaries are excluded, as well as revenues of university hospitals.
Revenues are further broken down between core funding, defined as funding available for the operations of the whole institution, third party funding earmarked for specific activities and institutional units, both from public and private sources and student fees funding.
In ETER, all monetary amounts are available in national currency, € and € purchasing power parities (PPPs), i.e. monetary amount corrected for the price level within the country. In the report, we use amounts in PPPs as they allow for more sensible comparisons between countries.
Data sources. Financial data in ETER are provided by National Statistical Authorities or Ministries of Higher Education based on national administrative data; mapping schemes to the ETER definitions have been defined.
Data availability. Data on current revenues are available in ETER for 1,210 out of 2,991 observations for the year 2015; adding two countries for which data are available in the former years, i.e. France (2014) and Denmark (2013), data are available for 1,342 HEIs, i.e. slightly less than half of the ETER perimeter. Availability of the breakdowns tends to be lower. Longitudinal data for the whole period 2011-2016 are available for 1,105 HEIs in 21 European countries.
Comparability problems and limitations. Despite methodological efforts, a number of comparability issues remain, related to different HEI accounting systems (cash vs. accrual based), the inclusion of ancillary services and, more importantly, how income for long-term investment is recorded in accounts. A further issue is the inclusion of university hospitals, owing to different legal situations by country. To inform about these issues, ETER includes extensive annotation and metadata at the institutional and country level.