The Stakeholder’s Forum 2012, renamed “European Education and Training Forum” this year, will take place on 18th and 19th of October 2012 in Brussels. Around 300 participants will gather to discuss EU policies about education and training. EUCIS-LLL and its members’ objective is to contribute to the debate by bringing in the perspective of civil society.
The aim of the Forum is to mobilise stakeholders and policy makers to modernise education and training systems through national and EU policies and instruments in order to enhance growth and jobs. This year’s Forum will have a double focus on:
1) Education and training aspects of Europe 2020
2) the future Erasmus for All programme
The outcome will provide input for the November Council Conclusions on Europe 2020 and for the implementation of Erasmus for All.
The Forum will gather around 300 participants: Education and Training as well as youth stakeholders, national and regional policy makers, representatives of the business world and civil society. It will be prepared through a consultation of selected stakeholders’ organisations using social media tools.
EUCIS-LLL is supporting the initiative and works together with the European Commission on the event. Further information and invitations will be sent out at a further stage.
- See the Background note for the European Education, Training and Youth Forum 2012
The overall objective of the study (SMART 2007/0030) was to provide analysis of the impacts of different policy options for the preparation of the Digital Agenda for Europe, one of the flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy. The final report contains an individual assessment of several policy areas: next generation access deployment; net neutrality and digital rights; digital content; user empowerment and the role of the EU in the international ICT arena. The analysis included outcomes from existing studies, surveys, hearings and consultations.
European Cooperation in Education and Training to support implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy
On 20th December, the Commission adopted the draft Joint Report of the Council and the Commission "Education and Training in a smart, sustainable and inclusive Europe", on the implementation of the Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in education and training ("ET2020").
The report summarises the actions and developments during the first 2009 2011 cycle of implementing "ET2020" and suggests priority areas for European policy cooperation for the next cycle 2012-14.
It highlights in particular how cooperation in education and training can support reaching the objectives of the "Europe 2020" strategy.
- The imperative to consolidate public finance puts budgets under pressure – including expenditure for education and training. However, as improving educational achievements can yield immense long-term returns and generate growth and jobs, there is a need for smart investment going along with policy reforms improving the quality of outcomes.
- More efforts are needed to reach the Europe 2020 headline target on early school leaving and tertiary education and to implement the reforms called for by the 2011 Council Recommendation on policies to reduce early school leaving and the recent Commission Communication on the modernisation of higher education.
- For the majority of EU citizens, lifelong learning is not a reality. This bodes ill for those hit hardest by the crisis. Unemployed youth and low-skilled adults depend on education and training to stand a fair chance on the labour market.
- Transnational mobility for acquiring new skills enables individuals to strengthen their future employability and personal development. However, the current levels of mobility do not match its importance and benefits.
- As the crisis has accelerated the change of skills needs on the labour market and the need to improve Europe's skills base, ET2020 will support the implementation of the Europe 2020 flagship initiative "Agenda for new skills and jobs" by promoting key competences for all citizens, close cooperation between education and the labour market and improved monitoring and anticipation of skills needs.
The Commission suggests these areas to be confirmed as priorities for European cooperation during the next "ET 2020" work cycle (2012-2014), so as to sustain a successful implementation of "Europe 2020".
The joint report will now be discussed in the Council in view of its adoption under the Danish presidency 2012.
The report summarises the actions and developments during the first 2009 2011 cycle of implementing "ET2020" and suggests priority areas for European policy cooperation for the next cycle 2012-14. It highlights in particular how cooperation in education and training can support reaching the objectives of the "Europe 2020" strategy.
The Executive Agency has adopted the lists of selected projects on 14 December 2011
The general objectives of the call for proposals Support for European cooperation in Education and Training are to support the establishment and implementation of coherent and comprehensive lifelong learning strategies and policies at national, regional and local level, covering and interlinking all types (formal, non-formal, informal) and levels of learning (preschool, primary, secondary, tertiary, adult, initial and continuing vocational education and training), including links to other relevant policy sectors (e.g. employment and social inclusion), through:
- Supporting awareness-raising and institutional commitment, coordination and partnership with all stakeholders to contribute to national implementation of the four strategic priorities of the ‘Strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020)’.
- Supporting European cooperation and exchange of experiences and good practice in the development and implementation of coherent and comprehensive lifelong learning strategies and policies at both the national and regional level, covering all forms and levels of education and training.
- Supporting the identification of the main critical factors and through joint experimenting, testing and transferring innovation in relation to the successful implementation of lifelong learning strategies and policies.
Lists of successful projects:
The Council adopted conclusions on a benchmark for learning mobility, to complement the five existing reference levels of European average performance (or "benchmarks"), agreed under the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training ("ET 2020"). The new benchmark differentiates between three areas: mobility in higher education, mobility in vocational education and training and youth mobility in general, and will result in greater reliability and comparability when it comes to measuring the various types of learning mobility which the EU promotes.
As part of Europe's strategy for jobs and growth, the European Commission has presented a reform strategy to boost graduate numbers, improve teaching quality and maximise what higher education can do to help the EU economy emerge stronger from the crisis. The strategy identifies priority areas where EU countries need to do more to achieve shared education objectives and sets out how the European Union can support their modernisation policies. EU-level initiatives will include a multi-dimensional university ranking which will better inform students about the courses which are best for them and an 'Erasmus for Masters' loan guarantee scheme for students taking a full degree course abroad.
The European Union has approximately 4,000 universities and other higher education institutions and more than 19 million students. In recent years the number and variety of higher education institutions, as well as student numbers, have substantially increased. But funding, governance structures and curricula have often failed to keep pace. Higher education is not performing well enough to provide Europe with enough people with the right kinds of skills to create jobs and growth. And worldwide, Europe's competitors, especially the emerging economies, are rapidly increasing their investment in higher education
Speaking at the launch of the strategy, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, said: "Higher education is a powerful driver of economic growth and opens doors to better living standards and opportunities for people. It is also the best insurance against unemployment. Even so, too many graduates struggle to find jobs or quality work. We need to reform higher education – and vocational education – so that we equip our young people with the skills they need to reach their potential in terms of development and employability."
Priority areas in which further reforms are needed include:
Increasing the number of graduates, attracting a broader cross-section of society into higher education, and reducing the numbers who drop out without completing their courses
Improving the quality and relevance of higher education, so curricula meet the needs of individuals, the labour market and the careers of the future, as well as stimulating and rewarding excellence in teaching and research
Providing more opportunities for students to gain additional skills through study or training abroad, and to encourage cross-border co-operation to boost higher education performance
Training more researchers to prepare the ground for the industries of tomorrow
Strengthening the links between education, research and business to promote excellence and innovation
Ensuring that funding is efficient – freeing up higher education governance and investing in quality education to match labour market needs
Many EU countries are prioritising the modernisation of their higher education systems; but the potential of European higher education institutions to contribute to Europe's prosperity and fulfil their wider role in society remains underexploited. This is why education is at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy, which has set a target for 40% of Europe's young people to have a higher education qualification by the end of this decade (33.6% in 2010).
In July, the Commission launched its proposals for the next multiannual EU budget (2014-2020) which include substantial increases for education, training and youth (+73%), and for research (+46%), in recognition of their pivotal role in supporting growth. The reform agenda for modernising higher education will guide the spending priorities of EU programmes in support of reforms.
The Commission's reform strategy has been shaped by analyses, studies and consultations with higher education institutions, teachers, researchers, students, businesses, trade unions, governments and international bodies. It is accompanied by a Commission staff paper that examines recent developments in European higher education systems and by the study 'Modernisation of higher education in Europe: funding and the social dimension' that examines trends in funding higher education and policies for opening up access to higher education (IP/11/1037).
For more information:
MEMO/11/613 - Modernising higher education – facts and figures
MEMO/11/615 - An EU strategy for modernising higher education – Questions and Answers
Communication: EU strategy for modernising higher education:
Statistics – Commission Staff Working Paper on recent developments in European higher education systems:
Eurydice study 'Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe: Funding and the Social Dimension':
European Commission: Higher education:
The Commission's proposals for education, training and youth in the next EU budget: IP/11/85
The use of ICT by adult migrants for learning the host country language (or second language, L2) is a topic which crosses three policy areas at EU level: immigration and integration policy; information society policy; and education and training policies. All three areas are currently addressed by flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Second language acquisition by adult migrants is perceived as a crucial factor for socio-economic and cultural integration. Several EU Member States have actually introduced compulsory L2 requirements for migrants, and a major effort is underway by a large number of stakeholders to assist migrants in enhancing their L2 proficiency, even where no binding requirements exist. ICT has started to be used in this context and is looked at with increasing interest as a means of helping with both the quantitative and qualitative challenges of L2 education.
This report reviews the current challenges of L2 provision and provides examples where ICT has been implemented to by-pass or solve these challenges.