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Education & Training in the European Union

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

Revised Europass Framework
The European Commission adopted on 6 October a proposal to revise the framework for Europass, a suite of tools and services which support the transparency of skills and qualifications across the European Union.

Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative - progress report
A Communication adopted by the European Commission on 4 October highlights the main achievements of the Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) since their launch in 2013.

MEPs want free rail passes for young Europeans
Young Europeans could be offered a free InterRail pass on their 18th birthday, helping to promote better understanding and knowledge about Europe, following a vote by MEPs on Tuesday.

EU spending needs closer link between education and employment: EU auditors
EU funding on education, while in line with EU objectives, does not always establish a clear link with its impact on employability, according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors.

New EU rules to attract non EU students & researchers
Harmonised EU entry and residence rules were approved by the EU Parliament Wednesday, making it easier and more attractive for people from third countries to study or do research at EU universities.

More Europeans age 30-34 complete tertiary education
An increasing number of Europeans aged 30 to 34 complete tertiary education - from 23.6% in 2002 to 38.7% in 2015 - while there are fewer and fewer early leavers from education and training, figures from Eurostat show.

The Ultimate EU Career Development Book
As co-author of 'The Ultimate EU Test Book - Assessment Centre Edition', I wanted to create a book which would be of value to those who are already working for the EU and wish to develop their EU "core competencies" - for greater job satisfaction, better performance and career success. 'The Ultimate EU Career Development Book' is that book and it is now available. In addition, a specially created FREE ONLINE TOOLKIT accompanying the book allows users to carry out a self-assessment for their competencies easily online, automatically generating a personal competency passport and priorities for action. You can even, if you wish, get anonymised 360-degree feedback from family, friends and colleagues so you can compare your self-assessment with other people’s evaluation of you! Using the book and free online toolkit in conjunction provides a complete package for understanding the competencies and your personal strengths and weaknesses, and planning your personal development needs. It can be used for private self-development and as a basis for training and team building - Jan De Sutter

Start-up support for young people in the EU: From implementation to evaluation
Against a background of high youth unemployment, policymakers are paying more attention to encouraging young people to start their own businesses as a means of easing their entry into the labour market. As part of the Youth Guarantee, launched in 2013, several Member States have introduced start-up support measures for young job-seekers. However, these measures vary considerably in terms of their content, delivery and aims. This report provides an overview of the current start-up support measures targeted at young people, as well as other more general measures that have relevance for them. It also reviews evaluations of the impact of selected start-up support measures. In doing so, it highlights some of the key methodological issues and limitations of the evaluation exercise.

Erasmus+: the first year
The European Commission published on 26 January three reports on EU funding in the area of education, training, youth and sport.

Education and Training 2020 Joint Report
A draft joint report by the European Commission published on 2 September calls for strengthening cooperation in education and training up to 2020 and especially to promote social inclusion.

European Alliance for Apprenticeships
The fight against youth unemployment is a top priority for the European Commission. Good quality apprenticeships help young people to acquire the skills and key competences necessary to be successful on the labour market. On 22 June, more than forty companies and other organisations have joined the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, coordinated by the Commission,and committed to providing more and better apprenticeships for young people. The companies will make a total of 140,000 apprenticeships and training opportunities available to young people. The Commission says it is committed to strengthening the supply, quality and image of apprenticeships.

Erasmus+ Master Loan Guarantee Facility
The Erasmus+ Master Loan Guarantee Facility is an EU initiative managed and implemented by EIF on behalf of the DG Education and Culture of the European Commission launched in December 2014 in the context of Erasmus+, the EU programme aiming to boost student mobility in Europe. The Erasmus+Master Loan Guarantee Facility aims to increase access to finance in order to enable students, regardless of their social background, to take a Master's Degree in another Erasmus+ programme country, as a contribution to tackling skills gaps in Europe. Masters graduates will make an increasingly important contribution to innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe as the need for higher skills grows.

Erasmus+ Master Loan Guarantee Scheme
The first loans for graduates taking their Master's degree abroad are now available under the Erasmus+ Master Loan Guarantee Scheme.

Student Fee and Support Systems in European Higher Education
The levels of student tuition or administrative fees, grants and loans highlight stark differences across Europe, according to a report published on 22 October by the European Commission's Eurydice network. The report, which covers 33 European countries, reveals that fee systems have remained relatively stable across the continent, despite some notable exceptions. Germany is the only country to recently abolish tuition fees, despite introducing them only in 2007.

National student fee and support systems in European Higher Education 2014/2015
Levels of student tuition or administrative fees, grants and loans continue to highlight stark differences across Europe, according to a report published by the European Commission's Eurydice network. The report, covering 33 European countries, reveals that fee systems have remained relatively stable across the continent, despite some notable exceptions. Germany is the only country to recently abolish tuition fees, despite introducing them only in 2007.

Horizon Report: schools urged to tackle digital skills challenge
Low digital skills and competences among school pupils and the need to integrate effective use of information and communication technologies into teacher training are among the most pressing challenges faced by European school education today, according to a report published by the European Commission and the New Media Consortium, a US-based not-for-profit body bringing together experts in education technology.

Horizon Report Europe - 2014 Schools Edition
The NMC Horizon Project from the New Media Consortium is a long-term investigation launched in 2002 that identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education around the globe. The NMC Horizon Report Europe: 2014 Schools Edition, the first of its kind for Europe, examines six key trends, six significant challenges and six important developments in educational technology that are very likely to impact educational change processes in European schools over the next five years (2014-2018). The topics within each section were carefully selected by the Horizon Project Europe Expert Panel, a body of 53 experts in European education, technology, and other fields. They come from 22 European countries, as well as international organisations and European networks. Throughout the report, references and links are made to more than 150 European publications (reports, articles, policy documents, blog posts etc.), projects (both EU-funded and national initiatives) and various policy initiatives from all over Europe. The Creative Classrooms multidimensional framework, developed by European Commission?s JRC-IPTS on behalf of DG EAC, was used for analysing the trends, challenges and technologies impacting European schools over the next five years. The analysis reveals that a systemic approach is needed for integrating new technologies in European schools and impacting educational change over the next five years.

Erasmus Impact Study - Effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and the internationalisation of higher education institutions
This new study on the impact of the European Union's Erasmus student exchange programme shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market.

Erasmus Impact Study: key findings
Young people who study or train abroad not only gain knowledge in specific disciplines, but also strengthen key transversal skills which are highly valued by employers. A new study on the impact of the European Union's Erasmus student exchange programme shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market. They are half as likely to experience long-term unemployment compared with those who have not studied or trained abroad and, five years after graduation, their unemployment rate is 23% lower. The study, compiled by independent experts, is the largest of its kind and received feedback from nearly 80 000 respondents including students and businesses.

EU Youth Guarantee
The Youth Guarantee is a new approach to tackling youth unemployment which ensures that all young people under 25 – whether registered with employment services or not – get a good-quality, concrete offer within 4 months of them leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The good-quality offer should be for a job, apprenticeship, traineeship, or continued education and be adapted to each individual need and situation. EU countries endorsed the principle of the Youth Guarantee in April 2013 (Council Recommendation).

Study maps EU school food policies
The Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), has published the first comprehensive report on school food policies in Europe, as part of EU efforts to help reduce childhood obesity.

Mapping of National School Food Policies across the EU
With childhood obesity prevalence on the rise in many European countries, schools may serve as a protected environment for children to learn healthy diet and lifestyle habits. Policy makers, educators and researchers would benefit from a comprehensive overview of European school food policies. Mandatory standards are defined in 18 of the policies (53%), the remainder offering voluntary guidelines. Top 3 policy aims are to improve child nutrition (97%), teach healthy dietary/lifestyle habits (94%) and reduce/prevent obesity (88%). Variations mainly relate to the types of meals targeted (e.g. lunch, breakfast, snack, dinner); whether standards/recommendations are nutrient- and/or food-based; and if vending machines and the wider food environment (kiosks near schools, packed lunches from home, etc.) are considered. Conclusion: We provide an up-to-date overview of European school food policies. The next step will be to assess the need and feasibility for developing best practice guidelines for school food policies in Europe, bearing in mind cultural and structural differences between countries.

U-Multirank - the new international university ranking
A new global university ranking, set up with EUR 2 million in funding from the European Union, was launched on 13 May.

Erasmus+ - new EU programme for Education, Training, Youth, and Sport for 2014-2020
The Erasmus+ programme aims to boost skills and employability, as well as modernising Education, Training, and Youth work. The seven year programme will have a budget of €14.7 billion; a 40% increase compared to current spending levels, reflecting the EU's commitment to investing in these areas. Erasmus+ will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer abroad. Erasmus+ will support transnational partnerships among Education, Training, and Youth institutions and organisations to foster cooperation and bridge the worlds of Education and work in order to tackle the skills gaps we are facing in Europe. It will also support national efforts to modernise Education, Training, and Youth systems. In the field of Sport, there will be support for grassroots projects and cross-border challenges such as combating match-fixing, doping, violence and racism. Erasmus+ brings together seven existing EU programmes in the fields of Education, Training, and Youth; it will for the first time provide support for Sport. As an integrated programme, Erasmus+ offers more opportunities for cooperation across the Education, Training, Youth, and Sport sectors and is easier to access than its predecessors, with simplified funding rules.

European School Milk Scheme
The EU School Milk Scheme is intended to encourage consumption among children of healthy dairy products containing important vitamins and minerals. The scheme does not only have a nutritional character but also an educational character and contributes therefore greatly to the fight against obesity among children. The School Milk Scheme is there to provide quality products for children, to contribute to a healthy way of living and to nutritional education with a better knowledge on products.