CB4LLP Final Conference, Athens
The final conference of the Capacity Building for Lifelong Learning (CB4LLP) project in September 2014 in Athens, Greece brought together more than 130 participants – decision makers, local and national cultural and educational institutions and companies. It was focused around key policy areas, which are analysed from different perspectives and by multi-level actors: skills shortages, early school leaving and NEETs, innovation in education and local development within macro-regions. As one of the partners in the project, EUCIS-LLL co-organised the workshop on Innovation in education and training. Some of the main conclusions were that innovation, in addition of being a matter of organisational survival, is also very much a social responsibility towards the community and that capacity-building processes can be a lever for more cultural openness to innovation.
EUCEN ‘How to develop University Lifelong Learning programmes: From the needs analysis to the design’ // Barcelona – 6-7 November 2014
EAEA’s statement on removing the adult education from DG EAC
OBESSU’s reaction to the new Commissioners
Open letter by the European Civic Forum regarding the designation of Mr. Tibor Navracsics
A record-breaking year for Erasmus
The latest Erasmus statistics released by the European Commission reveal that nearly 270 000 students – a new record – benefited from EU grants to study or train abroad in 2012-2013. While studying at another university continues to be the most popular choice, one in five students (55 000) opted for Erasmus job placements in companies. As for the second Erasmus+ call, the inter-institutional agreements that higher education institutions sign before they start exchanging students and staff had to be adapted to take into account the specificity of mobility not only within Europe, but also outside of Europe.
EESC provides its opinion on the ‘digital society: access, education, training, employment, tools for equality’
The Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) was responsible for preparing the Committee’s work on the subject. The opinion provides a number of recommendations; for instance the EU should become a digital designer and producer instead of being solely a digital user and access to digital society should become a priority objective for European society.
EP’s Committee on Culture and Education raises its concerns about the draft general EU budget for 2015
The Committee on Culture and Education raised its concerns about the General Budget for 2015. The Committee criticises cutting the budget for the Europe for Citizens programme. Among other things, it also proposes improving the EU’s communication policy towards citizens, raising the profile of European volunteering and volunteer networks. The Committee points out that austerity measures destroying public services are jeopardising the possibility for education and training systems to contribute to economic recovery and that lifelong learning must be “a high priority in order to fight poverty and inequalities”.
European Day of Languages 2014
The annual European Day of Languages took place on 26 September. Both the European Commission and the Council of Europe participated in organising language-related events across Europe around this day. According to the Eurostat report on language learning on lower-secondary level in the EU, it seems that English, French and German remain the most common foreign languages studied at lower secondary level in the EU28 in 2012, even though Spanish learning has significantly increased. In the European Union there are 24 official languages, about 60 regional and minority languages, and more than 175 migrant languages. Read the press releaseand the speech of Ms. Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth on the European Day of Languages.
MEPs preparing questions for the commissioners-designate
EUobserver questions whether some of the new commissioners are going to be rejected during the European Parliament hearing. The commissioner-designate for Education, Culture, Youth and Citizenship, Hungary’s former Foreign Affairs Minister Tibor Navracsics, might face tough questions, considering the situation of civil society in Hungary. Among other things, MEPs ask him in written form how he is planning to develop European citizenship while taking fully into account the Charter on Fundamental Rights and which concrete measures he is going to take in order to promote civic participation and democratic involvement. You can find the agenda and watch the hearings online on the website of the European Parliament. EUCIS-LLL has also prepared a series of key questions it wants to ask the commissioner-designate.
Review of Youth Guarantee scheme pilot projects
The European Commission met with the coordinators of the 18 Youth Guarantee pilot projects in order to review achievements. EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor has been in favour of the projects asserting that “they show that this approach [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][the Youth Guarantee] works and brings results.” The Youth Guarantee scheme has been a subject of debate in the European Parliament as well. MEPs urged EU member states to make more efficient use of €6 billion in EU funds to ease the transition from education to jobs for young people and foster entrepreneurship. The European Youth Forum stressed in its publication of April 2014 that implementation of the plans in many member states does not work in practice.
Access to Education in Europe: A framework and agenda for system change (2014)
Based on interviews with senior government officials and senior management in universities, non-formal education and prisons across 12 countries in Europe, this book by Paul Downes identifies systemic obstacles to and opportunities for promotion of access to education for socio-economically excluded groups. The book identifies current gaps and strengths in policy, practice and structures that impact upon access to education across a range of countries, as well as key emerging issues for non-formal education. Moreover, an agenda to promote access is proposed through a range of structural indicators for consideration at the level of the European Commission. You can find the book on the following website. To access parts of the book, you can click on the following link.
New documents published by Eurydice
A new report on Financing Schools in Europe: Mechanisms, Methods and Criteria in Public Funding, has been published by the EACEA. This report provides a framework for understanding the structure of funding systems for public sector school level education in Europe. It also delivers a short comparative analysis of the authority levels involved, and methods and criteria used for determining the level of resources for financing school education. It is a starting point for dialogue and peer-learning between countries. A public debate on funding will be organised as a part of the Lifelong Learning Week 2014, which will be organised by EUCIS-LLL in December in Brussels. Soon you will be able to find more information about the Lifelong Learning Week 2014 on the following website. Another document has been published by Eurydice, namely the Recommended Annual Instruction Time in Full-time Compulsory Education in Europe 2013/14. This publication presents recommended minimum annual instruction time in full-time compulsory general education. In other words, it concerns the notional workload for the students as it is based on regulations or standards of the central education authorities or as established as a set of recommendations at regional level.
Priorities, challenges and prospects for civil society involvement in the Europe 2020 strategy beyond 2015
The powerful elements of lifelong learning
The financial crisis has turned out to be an issue for low-skilled and unqualified workers regarding finding a job and an appropriate place in society. Courses for lifelong learning can be a lever for finding a better place in the society, but the question is which elements of the lifelong learning are the most important ones in order to achieve a successful learning environment for the adults. According to Maurice de Greef and her article, the following elements are crucial: flexible learning contents and activities for different adult learners, the use of transfer possibilities in interaction with the direct surroundings, the strength of teacher support and learning environment for adults as an interactive space.