In 2003, EURASHE conducted research Tertiary Short Education Cycle in Europe. The sector concerns over 1,7 million students in Europe. It has a proven influence on educational achievement, especially for students from a disadvantaged background: there is no relation between the participation rate in Higher Education (HE) and the occurrence of Short Cycle Higher Education (SCHE), but a relation between the existence of SCHE and completion rate in HE. This type of education is recent, the legislation usually dates back from less than 10 years. SCHE is characterised regarding funding, place delivered,Entrance requirements, duration and certification of studies, Profile of students and teachers, Mobility, use of ECTS, QA and accreditation and transition to degree studies.
A new study was launched in 2010, Short Cycle Higher Education in Europe Level 5: the Missing Link, to update and complete the first study. The new study features a description of SCHE in 32 Bologna signatory countries (plus regions in some countries); a comparative chapter: similarities and differences, trends etc; a chapter with examples of good practice and recommendations for EU, for national (regional) policy-makers for HEIs. Compared to the first study, it adds a point on cooperation with local communities and employability