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Education & Training in the European Union

Latest news on the European Union's education and training policies.

EU policy on adult learning
The European Commission has recognized adult learning as a vital component of EU education policies, as it is essential to competitiveness and employability, social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development across Europe.

EU policy on vocational education and training
Faced with challenges such as intensified global competition, high numbers of low-skilled workers and an ageing population, the European Commission considers vocational education and training (VET) as vital for preparing individuals for today's society and for ensuring Europe's future competitiveness and innovation.

EU policy on higher education
EU-level actions aim to help higher education institutions throughout Europe in their efforts to modernise, both in terms of the courses they offer and the way they operate.

"Youth on the Move" flagship initiative does not totally convince, say SMEs
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation, was left with mixed feelings by today's "Youth on the Move" communication by the European Commission, which is aimed notably at improving employment prospects and promoting learning mobility of young people.

Youth on the Move - guide
With five million young Europeans looking for a job, the European Commission has launched Youth on the Move, a new flagship initiative aimed at helping these young people to gain the knowledge, skills and experience they need to make their first job a reality. Part of the EU’s new Europe 2020 strategy, Youth on the Move proposes 28 key actions aimed at making education and training more relevant to young people's needs and encouraging more of them to take advantage of EU grants to study or train in another country. This will increase young people's employability and access to the labour market.

Challenges of multilingualism in Europe - core findings of the Languages in a Network of European Excellence
A conference entitled 'Challenges of multilingualism in Europe - core findings of the Languages in a Network of European Excellence (Linee) Network of Excellence' will be held on 23 September 2010 in Brussels, Belgium.

Erasmus programme in 2008/09 - background guide
The European Commission has published new figures on the number of students, teachers and other staff in higher education who participated in the EU’s Erasmus programme in the academic year 2008/2009. The data shows that 198 600 European students and 36 000 staff in higher education received Erasmus funding to go abroad for studies, placements, teaching or training. This memo contains more information about Erasmus in this period, including a breakdown of the figures by country.

Leonardo da Vinci programme
The Leonardo da Vinci Programme funds practical projects in the field of vocational education and training. Initiatives range from those giving individuals work-related training abroad to large-scale co-operation efforts. Part of the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme, this programme funds many different types of activities of varying scales. These include ‘mobility’ initiatives enabling people to train in another country, co-operation projects to transfer or develop innovative practices, and networks focusing on topical themes in the sector.

A new impetus for European cooperation in Vocational Education and Training to support the Europe 2020 strategy - EU Communication
On 9 of June 2010, the European Commission presented a 10 year vision for the future of vocational education and training in the Communication "A New Impetus for European cooperation in Vocational Education and Training to support the Europe 2020 strategy".

EU policy on vocational education and training - briefing
The European Commission has presented its new vision for the future of vocational education and training. Vocational education and training is chosen by an average of around 50% of all students in upper secondary education. However, the sector needs to be modernised to make it a more attractive and high-quality option, so that it provides young people with the right skills to find a suitable job and adults with an opportunity to update skills throughout their working life. Therefore, the Commission wants to encourage more people to take up vocational education, to improve the quality of the training on offer and to make it easier to move between jobs and countries. EU ministers are expected to discuss and adopt the plan in the second half of this year.

Euro-MPs call for closer ties between universities and industry
Links between business and the academic world need to be strengthened but higher education institutions must retain their autonomy and public support, says a resolution adopted on Thursday by the European Parliament.

The 2009 Elections to the European Parliament – Country Reports
EUDO is pleased to announce the publication of "The 2009 Elections to the European Parliament". How much ‘second-order’ were the European Parliament Elections 2009? Does this election mark continuity with the 2004 election? How can the gains and losses of various parties be explained? What will the direct consequences of this election be for national politics? The explanations for these and other phenomena can be found in our new academic production. Based on the voting advice application EU Profiler|, the majority of the researchers involved in this project contributed to the e-book. It contains 5 introductory chapters, investigating various aspects of this election comparatively, and 24 country reports, offering reliable analyses written by country experts. The originality of this publication is twofold. First, given that a huge part of the citizenry expects comparative, reliable information on this election, and given that other groups in society, including politicians and journalists may also like to have clear, succinct, and understandable analyses which they can use in their own work, the authors of this volume particularly wanted to avoid using overly academic vocabulary and sophisticated statistical analyses so that these chapters are easily understandable as possible. Each chapter is therefore relatively short (5-7 pages), and follows the same structure being composed of four clearly-defined sections: Background, Issues, The Election Campaign and Results. Second, what is particularly worth-mentioning is that this publication will be available on line for free. This way, the range of potential readers is likely to be very large, and will also reach ordinary citizens.

Belgium's curb on foreign students criticized by EU Court
The European court of Justice has ruled that Belgium should provide evidence that a 2006 Decree, which limits the number of foreign students enrolling in medical schools to 30%, is appropriate and proportionate.

Fifth Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems
The Fifth Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems will be held in Tel-Aviv, Israel from 12 to 14 September 2010.

Study on Holocaust and human rights education
At a Ministerial Conference being held in Auschwitz from 26-28 January, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) released the findings of the first ever EU-wide study on the role of historical sites and museums in teaching about the Holocaust and human rights. On the eve of the 2010 International Remembrance Day for the Victims of the Holocaust, the report reveals that at historical sites and in schools across the EU, teaching about the Holocaust rarely includes discussion of related human rights issues. Teachers and guides are considered to be key to ensuring interest in the subject, yet there is a lack of human rights training on behalf of both groups. Based on the findings of its study, the FRA encourages national governments to better integrate human rights education into their school curricula to reflect the significance of human rights for both the history and the future of the EU.

Conference on professionalising multilingualism in higher education
A conference on professionalising multilingualism in higher education will be held at the Centre Culturel de Rencontre Abbaye de Neumünster in Luxembourg from 4 and 6 February 2010.

Professional qualifications - how EU rules work in practice
The European Commission has published a scoreboard offering an overview of where Member States stand in implementing the Professional Qualifications Directive into national law, as well as a "user’s guide" allowing citizens to find responses to their questions about how the Directive works. The Professional Qualifications Directive of 2005 facilitates free movement of citizens who wish to establish themselves as a self-employed person or as a worker, or who wish to go cross-border on a temporary basis.

The Bologna process: making higher education systems in Europe converge
The Bologna process aims inter alia to make divergent higher education systems across the European Union converge towards a more transparent system by 2010, based on three cycles: Degree/Bachelor - Master - Doctorate.

Key figures on education reforms in EU countries - 2009
Despite a general improvement in education and training performance in the EU, progress is too slow, which means that the majority of the reform targets set for 2010 will not be reached. The economic downturn underlines the urgency of reform and continuous targeted investment in education and training systems to meet core economic and social challenges. These are the main conclusions from two reports on the progress of education reforms and European co-operation presented by the European Commission on 25 November 2009.

Challenges of education and innovation
A conference on the 'Challenges of education and innovation' will take place on 13 and 14 January 2010 in Berlin, Germany.

Arts and Cultural Education at School in Europe: Curricula and initiatives
This study presents up-to-date, comprehensive and comparable information on arts education policy in 30 European countries. It gives a detailed picture of the aims and objectives of arts education, its organisation, the provision of extra-curricular activities as well as initiatives for the development of such education at school. It also includes information on pupil assessment and teacher education in the arts. Besides the comparative study, detailed country descriptions on all topics covered are also available.

'Investing in People' 2007-2013
'Investing in People (2007 – 2013)' is the main thematic instrument of the European Commission for support of programmes in the area of human and social development, on top of country programmes that form the corner stone for the implementation of the EC activities in this area.

Key Data on Education in Europe 2009
This seventh edition of Key Data on Education in Europe from the Eurydice Network combines statistical data and qualitative information to describe the organisation and functioning of the education systems of 31 European countries. Based on data collected through the national units of the Eurydice network, Eurostat, and the PISA/PIRLS international education surveys, it provides an insight into how European countries address common challenges in education. The 121 indicators in the publication provide an overall picture of the education systems and policies in place across Europe, from pre-primary to higher education level. They also address horizontal issues such as demographic trends, financing of education systems, teacher status and training, school autonomy and quality assurance. When appropriate, comparison is provided with the previous edition (published 2005) to show trends in the fast-changing European education landscape.

Green Paper on "Promoting the learning mobility of young people" - briefing
The European Commission has published a Green Paper on "Promoting the learning mobility of young people" with the aim of opening up a debate on how best to boost the opportunities for young people in Europe to develop their knowledge and skills by going abroad. Spending a period in another country for studying, learning, work experience or volunteering is one of the fundamental ways in which young people can strengthen their future employability as well as their personal development. With this Green Paper the Commission is launching a public consultation which will be open until 15 December 2009. Responses will be gathered via an online questionnaire and by written submissions.

Lifelong Learning Programme
The European Commission has integrated its various educational and training initiatives under a single umbrella, the Lifelong Learning Programme. With a significant budget of nearly EUR 7 billion for 2007 to 2013, the new programme replaces previous education, vocational training and e-Learning programmes, which ended in 2006.