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The future of tertiary education in Europe

28-09-2020

This analysis focuses on six challenges facing tertiary education in the EU: the need to maintain relevance to current and future aspirations, the impact of digital and disruptive technologies, the way it collaborates with business, global and intra-EU collaboration, quality assurance, financing and barriers to inclusion. It also looks at trends in two of the largest higher education systems outside the European Higher Education Area, those in the United States and China. This provides the backdrop ...

This analysis focuses on six challenges facing tertiary education in the EU: the need to maintain relevance to current and future aspirations, the impact of digital and disruptive technologies, the way it collaborates with business, global and intra-EU collaboration, quality assurance, financing and barriers to inclusion. It also looks at trends in two of the largest higher education systems outside the European Higher Education Area, those in the United States and China. This provides the backdrop to discuss how the next Multiannual Financial Framework, which is currently under negotiation, will put tools at the EU's disposal to exert some influence on the future trajectory of tertiary education, as well as the European Parliament's role in these negotiations.

Education in isolation in the pandemic, following the path of Isaac Newton

03-06-2020

While schools have remained closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, students' education cannot be suspended indefinitely without severe consequences. Alternative methods, mostly dependent on digital technology, have been adopted very rapidly. Organisations such as Unesco have been quick to monitor the situation, and the European Union too has followed developments in the Member States through its agencies and networks. Video-conferences between education ministers have been pivotal for them to discuss ...

While schools have remained closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, students' education cannot be suspended indefinitely without severe consequences. Alternative methods, mostly dependent on digital technology, have been adopted very rapidly. Organisations such as Unesco have been quick to monitor the situation, and the European Union too has followed developments in the Member States through its agencies and networks. Video-conferences between education ministers have been pivotal for them to discuss issues and learn from each other's best practices. What has started as an emergency has become an eye-opener, as existing educational gaps have become more visible. Socio-economic inequalities, greater difficulties of access for those with special educational needs, barriers in home–school communication and between teachers and educational authorities have been compounded by missing digital tools and skills. The sudden leap has also given rise to outreach initiatives and a growing awareness of resources whose potential was still under-exploited. These included numerous online platforms and other resources that became freely available to salvage the situation. As teachers, students and parents experiment with new tools, policy-makers try to understand what can be more systematically adopted in the future to make education more flexible and inclusive, and what needs to be debunked. Learning is not limited to schooling; vocational education and training, universities and adult education sectors have also struggled to maintain their activities. At the same time, they will be expected to contribute to the relaunch following the end of confinement. Given the economic downturn, guidance and career counselling will have a pivotal role in reskilling and upskilling the labour force. The European Union has a supportive role in this process and also needs to safeguard the wellbeing of participants in its programmes Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps. The European Parliament is keen to ensure the institutions do all they can. Where does Isaac Newton fit in all this?

European education area

04-03-2020

The idea of a European education area emerged in November 2017 when the European Council met for the Social Summit in Gothenburg to discuss how to enhance the European Union's efforts in the area of education and culture. In the same month, the European Commission launched its vision for a European education area by 2025 'in which learning, studying and doing research would not be hampered by borders'. The Bologna process, which created greater compatibility between universities in the European Union ...

The idea of a European education area emerged in November 2017 when the European Council met for the Social Summit in Gothenburg to discuss how to enhance the European Union's efforts in the area of education and culture. In the same month, the European Commission launched its vision for a European education area by 2025 'in which learning, studying and doing research would not be hampered by borders'. The Bologna process, which created greater compatibility between universities in the European Union (EU) and beyond, Erasmus+, the EU's programme for education, training, youth and sport and its predecessor programmes, and the framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020) are all precursors of this vision. The Commission has announced its intention to renew these activities with a number of initiatives planned for 2020, such as the European universities initiative, to focus on making the European education area a reality.

Inclusion of migrants in formal education

14-11-2019

Statistics show that students with a migrant background are not as integrated in formal education as other students. Yet the term ‘students with a migrant background’ catches many different individuals. Some of those students may have been born in the country in which they are studying, with their parents or grandparents being the ones to have moved states. Some of the new arrivals are asylum‑seekers or refugees, who may have experienced chronic stress and severe trauma. Some students have chosen ...

Statistics show that students with a migrant background are not as integrated in formal education as other students. Yet the term ‘students with a migrant background’ catches many different individuals. Some of those students may have been born in the country in which they are studying, with their parents or grandparents being the ones to have moved states. Some of the new arrivals are asylum‑seekers or refugees, who may have experienced chronic stress and severe trauma. Some students have chosen to study abroad but, though they come from a different country, they are not considered migrants. This infographic looks at the complex picture behind the statistics, and at how authorities in Member States address the inclusion of migrant students through their policies.

Adult learners in a digital world

03-10-2019

What impact does the digital world have on adult learners? Do they need to develop specific skills? Is the internet the new space where adults learn or find learning opportunities? This infographic looks at how adults in the EU currently use the internet, and their level of skills, to identify some of their learning needs. It then focuses on the characteristics of those who seek educational opportunities online to detect gaps in access to learning. Finally, it looks at how many actually use the internet ...

What impact does the digital world have on adult learners? Do they need to develop specific skills? Is the internet the new space where adults learn or find learning opportunities? This infographic looks at how adults in the EU currently use the internet, and their level of skills, to identify some of their learning needs. It then focuses on the characteristics of those who seek educational opportunities online to detect gaps in access to learning. Finally, it looks at how many actually use the internet for learning purposes and workplace ICT skills development training to pinpoint learning opportunities. While policy-makers see the potential of the digital environment to broaden access to education, lack of skills and infrastructure may be barriers in their own right.

Erasmus+: More than just mobility

05-09-2019

Erasmus+ is the EU's single integrated education programme for improving young people's skills and employability, and currently covers the 2014-2020 period. It also promotes the modernisation of education and training in the EU Member States, by facilitating transnational contacts amongst different players and across different sectors. Erasmus+ brings together the previous EU programmes in education, training and youth, and also includes sports.

Erasmus+ is the EU's single integrated education programme for improving young people's skills and employability, and currently covers the 2014-2020 period. It also promotes the modernisation of education and training in the EU Member States, by facilitating transnational contacts amongst different players and across different sectors. Erasmus+ brings together the previous EU programmes in education, training and youth, and also includes sports.

Implementing the Bologna Process: The follow-up

18-07-2019

The Bologna Declaration marked the launch of the Bologna Process, which led to the formation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in 2010. The process now brings together 48 European countries in a common effort to achieve compatible and comparable higher education systems. Participants face the challenge of making different systems more easily recognisable whilst respecting academic freedom and autonomy, as well as cultural and linguistic diversity.

The Bologna Declaration marked the launch of the Bologna Process, which led to the formation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in 2010. The process now brings together 48 European countries in a common effort to achieve compatible and comparable higher education systems. Participants face the challenge of making different systems more easily recognisable whilst respecting academic freedom and autonomy, as well as cultural and linguistic diversity.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Youth empowerment

28-06-2019

The proportion of young people (15-29 years old) in the general EU population is declining. On the whole, young people have a higher level of education than older adults, and youth unemployment rates have begun to decrease. Nevertheless, young people are still more exposed to poverty and social exclusion than other sections of the population. They are less prone to put their health at risk than previous generations. For instance, fewer young people smoke, get drunk, or become involved in a road accident ...

The proportion of young people (15-29 years old) in the general EU population is declining. On the whole, young people have a higher level of education than older adults, and youth unemployment rates have begun to decrease. Nevertheless, young people are still more exposed to poverty and social exclusion than other sections of the population. They are less prone to put their health at risk than previous generations. For instance, fewer young people smoke, get drunk, or become involved in a road accident than previously, but young people are still over-represented among those who are injured in road accidents. Obesity due to bad eating habits and lack of physical exercise is still an issue. Young people are also less likely to vote, or stand for election than older adults, but in recent years there has been a slight increase in interest in politics, political action and volunteering. Almost 80 % of young Europeans identify themselves as European citizens. In a Eurobarometer survey published in 2018 they placed education, skills and the environment at the top of a list of priorities for the EU. The European Union is engaged in helping Member States address young people's needs and aspirations through a youth strategy which covers areas such as employment, entrepreneurship, social inclusion, participation, education, training, health, wellbeing, voluntary activities, the global dimension, creativity and culture. The strategy is backed by a number of funding programmes that are specifically focused on young people, most notably the Youth Employment Initiative, Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps. It also draws from funds directed at other specific policy areas. EU action in the area of youth empowerment is best known for the mobility opportunities it has created, in particular through Erasmus. Future challenges include reaching a wider spectrum of young people, especially those from disadvantaged and hard-to-reach groups, making the results of the consultative process, known as youth dialogue, more tangible, and improving synergies between policy areas for greater effectiveness. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

European Solidarity Corps 2021-2027

12-04-2019

The financial allocation for the European Commission proposal for a European Solidarity Corps programme is €1 260 million at current prices. Projected to offer opportunities for 350 000 18 to 30 year olds from 2021 to 2027, the programme is included under Heading 2 'Cohesion and Values' of the multiannual financial framework covering the same period. In its initial phases, the European Solidarity Corps suffered from unsuccessful branding and communication, as it came into direct competition with ...

The financial allocation for the European Commission proposal for a European Solidarity Corps programme is €1 260 million at current prices. Projected to offer opportunities for 350 000 18 to 30 year olds from 2021 to 2027, the programme is included under Heading 2 'Cohesion and Values' of the multiannual financial framework covering the same period. In its initial phases, the European Solidarity Corps suffered from unsuccessful branding and communication, as it came into direct competition with two similar programmes, the European Voluntary Service and the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative. The new proposal merges these programmes. The distinctive feature of the European Solidarity Corps today is that it brings together volunteering, traineeship and job opportunities for young people with a clear focus on solidarity projects and uses existing management structures to maximise focus on delivery and performance. In view of the importance of solidarity to the wider European project, and the potential of this programme to contribute towards this spirit, a report by Parliament's Culture and Education Committee adopted in plenary points out that the definition of solidarity should be the unifying principle in the programme's implementation. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Non-formal learning: Access and validation

10-12-2018

Learning happens in different contexts, over the course of a lifetime, following various possible educational paths, as shown in Figure 1. In adult life, learning ranges from programmes that impart basic skills, learning groups engaged in raising awareness on various issues, mature students at university, open and distance learning, on-the-job training, courses that combine theory with practice, and classes or other learning activities taken in pursuit of a special interest. This infographic explains ...

Learning happens in different contexts, over the course of a lifetime, following various possible educational paths, as shown in Figure 1. In adult life, learning ranges from programmes that impart basic skills, learning groups engaged in raising awareness on various issues, mature students at university, open and distance learning, on-the-job training, courses that combine theory with practice, and classes or other learning activities taken in pursuit of a special interest. This infographic explains the modalities that non-formal learning takes across Member States.

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27-10-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | Beyond Christendom - The politics of religion in Europe today
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27-10-2020
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