Using ETER data on the localization of Higher Education Institutions, a report of DG Regio shows that, in general, universities are quite widely distributed across Europe. In the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) area, an average of four out of five people live within a 45-minute drive of the main campus of at least one university. Nevertheless, in one in five NUTS-3 regions, the majority of the population cannot reach a university in 45 minutes. These regions together represent 14 % of the EU plus EFTA’s population. Most of the regions with low levels of higher education participation are located in the eastern Member States.
European Commission, DG Regio, Access to universities in the EU: a regional and territorial analysis, by Hugo Poelman and Lewis Dijkstra