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Education & Training in the European Union

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

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.

Terminology of European education and training policy
The issues we deal with in the European training community may be, to a large extent, common - but we all describe them in different languages, with different terms, and on the basis of a varied historical and conceptual background. How then can we make sure we understand each other across the emerging common European area of vocational education and training? This is the question that Cedefop’s recent publication, Terminology of European education and training policy (in five languages) is intended to address. In addition, Cedefop has recently published the updated European Training Thesaurus in EN and FR, an indexing tool for libraries.

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.