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Education & Training in the European Union

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

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.

HELP - For a life without tobacco
On May 31st 2009, World No Tobacco Day, the European Commission launched the second phase of its large media campaign aimed at tobacco prevention and cessation and informing about the dangers of passive smoking in the 27 European Union Member States, following on from the initial four year campaign carried out from 2005 to 2008. Conceived with a specific focus on young people, the European Commission´s campaign “HELP – For a life without tobacco” is one of the largest public health awareness-raising initiatives ever organised in the world. The “Help” campaign aims to offer help not to take up smoking, to quit smoking, or to address passive smoking.

EU Mini-Chefs - website for children on healthy cooking
The European Commission and Euro-toques International, the European Chefs' association, on 15 May 2007 launched "EU Mini-chefs" - a website for children which aims to contribute to the fight against child obesity by encouraging healthy eating and cooking. It promotes the European Day for Healthy Food and Cooking on 8 November 2007. On that day chefs across the EU will demonstrate to children how to cook and eat healthily in schools and restaurants. The website also outlines how children can take part in a drawing contest for a poster to be used in the campaign. It provides an internet forum on healthy food & cooking for parents, teachers and children. The website includes simple healthy recipes and cooking advice from some of the best chefs of Europe.

European Business (paperback)
This text examines the question of how the future of the European Union will affect organisations operating in member states. The business environment in Europe continues to change as the moves toward integration gathers pace. It is inevitable that this new environment will present new challenges to key players and businesses operating in Europe. This text therefore provides a comprehensive and general overview of the key topics for students who need to understand the complexities of the EU. In addition to addressing the present and likely future issues, each chapter contains discussion questions, a case study and questions on the case to test the students' understanding of the topics covered.

Communication on a European agenda for culture in a globalizing world
The main purpose of the Communication is to see both what Europe can do for culture and what culture can do for Europe , with two main sets of objectives in mind: developing active European citizenship, respecting cultural diversity, promoting intercultural dialogue, while fostering a sense of 'European identity' complementary to other identities; the economic and social objectives of the Lisbon agenda, and the role of creativity in enhancing the competitive edge of Europe. (Culture and Creativity to Make Lisbon Work, states European Council - 9 March 2007).

Culture & the European Union - Frequently asked questions
On 10 May 2007, the European Commission adopted a Communication entitled "A European agenda for culture in a globalizing world". Whilst the Communication is not the first in the field of culture, this is the first time the Commission has proposed a common European strategy for culture in the EU.

Study visits catalogue
The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) is the European Union's reference centre for vocational education and training. It provides information on and analyses of vocational education and training systems, policies, research and practice.

Effects on the European Economy of Shortages of Foreign Language Skills in Enterprise
This study was commissioned by the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the European Commission in December 2005 and undertaken by the UK National Centre for Languages, in collaboration with an international team of researchers. Its objective was to provide the Commission and decision-takers in Member States with practical information and analysis of the use of language skills by SMEs and the impact on business performance.

Innovation at Work: The European Human Capital Index
In a landmark study, the Lisbon Council weighs into the current debate surrounding innovation by looking at the way Human Capital is developing in 13 European countries. The study predicts major challenges for key European countries – such as Germany and Italy – that do too little to invest in and develop their human capital. If current trends are not reversed, the study says citizens of Sweden and Ireland (which invest heavily in their human capital) could enjoy a living standard up to twice as high as citizens of Germany and Italy – a trend which would turn the traditional economic hierarchy of Europe on its head.

Education, Training and Youth in the EU
The opportunities which the EU offers its citizens for living, studying and working in other countries make a major contribution to cross-cultural understanding, personal development and the realisation of the EU's full economic potential. Each year, well over one million EU citizens of all ages benefit from EU-funded educational, vocational and citizenship-building programmes.

EU Tenders - Education
Today's EU tenders covering Education business sectors from 'Tenders Electronic Daily' (TED)

PLOTEUS Learning Opportunities portal
PLOTEUS (Portal on Learning Opportunities throughout the European Space) aims to help students, job seekers, workers, parents, guidance counsellors and teachers to find out information about studying in Europe.

Eurydice
Information Network on Education in Europe includes a searchable database of all the EU's education programmes. Eurydice is committed, first and foremost, to offering policy-makers and all those involved in the provision of education with information and studies geared to their needs. The Network boosts European cooperation in education by developing exchanges of information about systems and policies and producing studies on issues common to education systems.

Languages of Europe
Official languages of Europe statistics: The official EU languages; Policy issues; Awareness raising; Language teaching; Language learning; EU funding opportunities; Key documents; Useful links