The MEST programme has been running since September 1993. The major steps in its creation and development were:
- 1988-1989 : Université catholique de Louvain (Belgique), Warwick University (UK) and Université des Sciences sociales de Toulouse 1 (France) are the three founder members who initialized the idea of bringing several universities together to create a European inter-university network to provide Masters-level education in work and employment studies.
- 1989-1992 : Development. A group of four institutions examined the feasibility of a joint programme and prepared a detailed plan for the project.
- September 1993 : Official launch of the joint programme.
- 1994-2004 : Consolidation. Regular adaptations to the curriculum take place with integration of new courses.
- 2005-2016 : Several new members joined the Consortium, with the numbers reaching thirteen in 2008. A last expansion took place in 2016 with the membership of SNSPA.
- Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain)
- Universität Trier (Germany)
- Università degli studi di Firenze (Italy)
- Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa
– Lisbon University Institute. (ISCTE-IUL) (Portugal)
- Università degli studi di Milano (Italy)
- Universität Bremen (Germany)
- London School of Economics (Great-Britain)
- University College Dublin (Ireland)
- Universiteit van Amsterdam (Netherlands)
- University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
- National University of Political Studies and Public Administration Bucharest
– (SNSPA) (Romania)
Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Ecole des Sciences du Travail