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Education & Training in the European Union

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

EVE - online platform on results from EU projects in Education and Culture
EVE - the electronic platform containing results of projects financed through programmes managed by the European Commission in the fields of Education, Training, Culture, Youth and Citizenship

Bordeaux Communiqué - European Vocational Education and Training policy (VET) - briefing
On 25-26 November 2008, in Bordeaux, ministers responsible for vocational education and training (VET) of the EU Member States, the EFTA/EEA and candidate countries, the European Commission and the European Social Partners adopted the Bordeaux Communiqué which reviews the Copenhagen process on enhanced cooperation in VET.

EU School Fruit Scheme - briefing
The European Union's Agriculture Council on 19 November reached political agreement on a European Commission proposal for a European Union-wide scheme to provide fruit and vegetables to school children.

European Youth Week
The fourth European Youth Week celebrates twenty years of European programmes for youth. It's the perfect time to look to the future and discuss the challenges that young people in Europe will be facing in the years to come. So mark your calendar from November 2 to 9 – because the youth of Europe will be speaking up! Events will be organised in the 31 countries participating in the Youth in Action programme and a central event will take place in Brussels from November 2 to 6. This year's Youth Week is also dedicated to "intercultural dialogue" – the EU's theme of 2008.

Commission Communication on Multilingualism: tapping the full potential of languages in Europe
In its new Communication, entitled "Multilingualism: an asset for Europe and a shared commitment", the Commission gives an overview of what needs to be done to turn linguistic diversity into an asset for solidarity and prosperity. The Commission invites EU Member States and the other EU Institutions to join efforts to encourage and assist citizens in acquiring language skills and removing communication barriers. It proposes an approach which advocates including multilingualism across a whole series of EU policy areas. The policy document proposes a series of concrete actions related to these questions and foresees a review of the progress made in 2012 (pdf)

Annual report on education systems in the EU 2008
The European Commission on 10 July 2008 presented the latest data on EU Member States' progress towards the 2010 goals they have set themselves for their education systems under the Lisbon strategy. This annual "indicators and benchmarks" report looks at individual country's performances in key areas such as completion of secondary education, early school leavers, low achievers in reading literacy, graduates in maths, science and technology and the participation of adults in lifelong learning activities. The key finding of the 2008 report is that overall Europe is making progress in all five areas - with the exception of low achievers in reading. However, although education and training has been improving slowly but steadily in EU Member States since 2000, progress needs to be faster in almost all areas in order to reach the 2010 targets.

Migration and Mobility: Challenges and Opportunities for EU education systems - guide
A Green Paper adopted by the European Commission on 3 July 2008 opens the debate on how education policies may better address the challenges posed by immigration and internal EU mobility flows. The presence of significant numbers of migrant children has substantial implications for European education systems. Key issues are how to prevent the creation of segregated school settings, so as to improve equity in education; how to accommodate the increased diversity of mother tongues and cultural perspectives and build intercultural skills; how to adapt teaching skills and build bridges with migrant families and communities.

Europass is a European Union initiative to increase transparency of qualification and mobility of citizens in Europe. It aims to make a person's skills and qualifications clearly understood throughout Europe. Europass consists of five documents: two documents (Europass curriculum vitae (CV) and Europass Language Passport) you can fill in yourself; and three other documents (Europass Certificate Supplement, Europass Diploma Supplement and Europass Mobility) filled in and issued by competent organisations.

Europass - guide
Europass is a new way of helping people to make their skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in Europe (European Union, EFTA/EEA and candidate countries); and to move anywhere in Europe. Europass consists of five documents: two documents (Europass curriculum vitae (CV) and Europass Language Passport) you can fill in yourself; and three other documents (Europass Certificate Supplement, Europass Diploma Supplement and Europass Mobility) filled in and issued by competent organisations.

Tempus Programme - guide
This set of frequently-asked questions explains the main achievements and objectives of Tempus - the EU flagship programme in the field of higher education cooperation with neighbouring countries.

European Qualifications Framework - guide
The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a common European reference framework which links countries' qualifications systems together, acting as a translation device to make qualifications more readable. The EQF has two principal aims: to promote citizens' mobility between European Union countries and to facilitate their lifelong learning.

Women, Universities, and Change: Gender Equality in the European Union and the United States (Issues in Higher Education): Gender Equality in the European ... United States (Issues in Higher Education)
This book analyzes how higher education responses to socio political and economic influences affect gender equality at the nation-state and university levels in the European Union and the United States.

Europa languages portal
This portal is your point of entry to information about languages from the European Union - Linguistic Diversity - Language Learning - Language Teaching - Translation - Interpretation - Language Technology

EU Action Plan on Adult Learning - FAQ
The European Commission adopted on 27 September 2007 a Communication calling on the EU Member States to work together and support the EU Action Plan on Adult Learning. The Action Plan aims to help remove the barriers that prevent adults from engaging in learning activities, and to improve the quality and efficiency of the adult learning sector. It complements this with a call to ensure adequate levels of investment in, and better monitoring of, the adult learning sector.

Report on the implementation of the Action Plan "Promoting language learning and linguistic diversity 2004-2006"
The EU Action Plan "Promoting language learning and linguistic diversity 2004-2006" called for a progress review in 2007. A European Commission Working Paper reporting on its implementation was adopted on 25 September 2007. This report outlines the main results of the implementation of the Action Plan "Promoting language learning and linguistic diversity 2004-2006", both at European and national level. It highlights current trends in the reform of educational systems to better promote language learning, takes stock of what has been achieved in the past three years and provides a basis for further action in the field of multilingualism policy.

European Day of Languages 2007
At the end of the hugely successful 2001 European Year of Languages, jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, it was decided that 26 September each year should be the European Day of Languages, to celebrate the rich heritage of cultures and traditions embodied in all the languages of Europe – and not only the 23 official languages of the EU.

EU and Youth Policies - Frequently Asked Questions
As Europe's population grows older faster and the pool of young workers shrinks, the EU will rely more and more on its younger generation. According to a Commission analysis presented on 5 September 2007, young people are often insufficiently prepared to take on this responsibility. One in six young Europeans still leaves school early and 4.6 million 15-24 year-olds are unemployed. The document highlights the need, at EU and national level, to invest more and earlier in youth education and health and to improve transitions from education into work. It also stresses the importance of involving young people more in civic life, as well as in society as a whole.

Education: Communication on the quality of teacher education - FAQ
The European Commission on 6 August 2007 set out proposals to improve the quality of teacher training in the EU. High-quality teaching is a prerequisite for high-quality education and training, which are in turn a powerful determinant of Europe’s long-term competitiveness and capacity to create more jobs and growth. If adopted by Member States, the proposals agreed today will ensure that the EU has the highly-educated workforce it will need to face up to the pressures of the 21st century.

Erasmus Mundus programme
The Erasmus Mundus programme is a co-operation and mobility programme in the field of higher education which promotes the European Union as a centre of excellence in learning around the world. It supports European top-quality Masters Courses and enhances the visibility and attractiveness of European higher education in third countries. It also provides EU-funded scholarships for third country nationals participating in these Masters Courses, as well as scholarships for EU-nationals studying at Partner universities throughout the world.

Erasmus Mundus II guide
The European Commission adopted on 12 July 2007 a proposal to launch the new generation of the Erasmus Mundus programme for the period 2009-13. Erasmus Mundus started in 2004 to promote European higher education as a centre of excellence in the world. In the first three academic years (2004-2006), more than 2,300 students have participated in the programme and over 1,800 have just been selected to start their studies in Europe in September this year. The new Erasmus Mundus II programme builds on this by aiming to become the EU reference programme for cooperation with third countries in this area. Over a period of five years, just over 950 million euros will be available for European and third-country universities to join forces in joint programmes or collaborative partnerships, and to grant scholarships to European and third-country students for an international study experience.

EU Tube
The European Commission has launched a dedicated channel on YouTube to make its audiovisual material more widely available to the public. "This initiative reflects the Commission's commitment to better explain its policies and actions on issues which concern citizens across the EU – such as climate change, energy or immigration" said Margot Wallstroem, Vice-President for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy.

EU terminology translator
A one-stop shop for EU-related terminology (InterActiveTerminology for Europe) in 23 languages opened to the public on 28 June 2007. The InterActive Terminology for Europe database, known as IATE, combines the terminology databases of the individual EU institutions and bodies in a single database containing 8.7 million terms and covering all 23 official EU languages. IATE ,which has been in use by the translation services of the EU institutions since 2005, already plays a major role in ensuring the quality of the written communication of the EU institutions and bodies. Offering easy access to validated EU-related terminology, it ensures the consistency and reliability of terminology which is indispensable for producing the clear and unambiguous texts necessary for guaranteeing both the validity and transparency of the legislative process and effective communication with the citizens of the Union.

EU Race Equality Directive
The European Commission on 27 June sent formal requests to 14 EU Member States to fully implement EU rules banning discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnic origin (2000/43/CE). The countries concerned – Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Ireland, United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia – have two months to respond, failing which the Commission can take them to the European Court of Justice. The Race Equality Directive was agreed in 2000 with a deadline for implementation into national law by 2003.

Giving Knowledge for Free: The Emergence of Open Educational Resources
Learning resources are often considered key intellectual property in a competitive higher education world. However, more and more institutions and individuals are sharing their digital learning resources over the Internet, openly and for free, as Open Educational Resources (OER). This study, building on previous OECD work on e-learning, asks why this is happening, who is involved and what the most important implications of this development are. The report offers a comprehensive overview of the rapidly changing phenomenon of Open Educational Resources and the challenges it poses for higher education. It examines reasons for individuals and institutions to share resources for free, and looks at copyright issues, sustainability and business models as well as policy implications. It will be of particular interest to those involved in e-learning or strategic decision making within higher education, to researchers and to students of new technologies.

Europe: How to Do Business in 25 European Countries (Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands)
The most comprehensive, authoritative text of its kind, "Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands" has won a following among high-ranking military officials, influential corporate executives, and business school professors alike. The new regional edition for Europe offers a wealth of region specific material in a portable package that no business traveler should be without! "Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: Europe" contains up-to-date information to lead the business traveler through business meetings, social situations, and understanding local cultures across Europe. It includes: cultural IQ tests; "Know Before You Go" tips; and, alerts on international security issues to prepare travelers for the road ahead.