Tag Archives: Education system

Delivering lifelong learning for knowledge, creativity and innovation

Delivering lifelong learning for knowledge, creativity and innovation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Delivering lifelong learning for knowledge, creativity and innovation

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Education and training: general framework

Delivering lifelong learning for knowledge, creativity and innovation

Document or Iniciative

2008 joint progress report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the ‘Education and Training 2010’ work programme – ‘Delivering lifelong learning for knowledge, creativity and innovation’ [Official Journal C 86 of 5.4.2008].

Summary

This third joint progress report on the implementation of the ‘Education and training 2010’ work programme attests that significant progress has been achieved in many areas. However, further efforts still need to be made, especially with regard to skill levels, lifelong learning strategies and the education, research and innovation “knowledge triangle”.

Overall, progress throughout Europe has not been uniform nor have reforms been realised fast enough. Yet, most of the Member States have either already put into effect reforms, or are currently doing so, with regard to the following:

  • development of lifelong learning strategies that define policy priorities and the relationship between different sectors, covering either all aspects of education and training or focusing only on specific systems or stages;
  • development of qualifications frameworks and validation of non-formal and informal learning; however, it is now essential that Member States begin the application of these tools;
  • pre-primary education, for which a number of Member States have run successful pilot projects on teaching content, staff training, quality assessment and financing that should now be implemented on a broad scale;
  • modernisation of higher education, especially in terms of increasing the autonomy of universities;
  • mainstreaming education and training at the European Union (EU) policy level, with progress achieved in linking operational programmes to the ‘Education and training 2010’ work programme and in the development of European reference tools, such as the European Qualifications Framework or the key competences.

The areas where progress has been insufficient include the:

  • implementation of lifelong learning strategies;
  • reduction in the number of early school leavers, increase in the number of young people completing at least upper secondary education and the acquisition of key competences;
  • education, continuous training and professional development of teachers;
  • attainment of excellence in terms of education, research and knowledge transfer, and increase of both public and private investment in higher education;
  • participation of adults in lifelong learning, in particular of older workers and the low skilled;
  • improvement of the attractiveness, quality and relevance of vocational education and training (VET), including its proper integration into the rest of the education system;
  • increase in transnational mobility schemes provided at national level, with a focus on facilitating mobility also in VET.

Future work should concentrate, in particular, on implementing lifelong learning strategies, emphasising the role of education in the knowledge triangle and improving governance. The Member States’ lifelong learning strategies are not necessarily coherent or comprehensive. The strategies should be better linked to policy measures, the resources should be targeted more effectively and more efforts should be made to develop learning partnerships between national institutions and stakeholders. Hence, it is essential that:

  • knowledge about the economic and social impact of education and training policies be improved;
  • efforts to secure sustainable funding be strengthened;
  • skills levels be raised, especially through the early acquisition of key competences and VET;
  • socio-economic disadvantage be addressed, with priority placed on equal access, participation, treatment and outcomes;
  • migrants be considered in education and training policies and systems;
  • professional preparation and continuing development be provided for teachers.

As one of the fundamental elements of the knowledge triangle, education contributes to boosting growth and jobs. In addition to higher education, schools and VET have a significant role in facilitating innovation. Thus, it is of utmost importance that efforts are stepped up to enable partnerships between educational institutions and businesses and that excellence and key competences are developed throughout the different levels of education and training.

To further improve governance, it is imperative to give due consideration, both at the national and European levels, to the:

  • setting of priorities in education and training policy with regard to lifelong learning;
  • interlinking of relevant policies (e.g. innovation, research, employment);
  • integration of developments in higher education, VET and adult learning within the ‘Education and Training 2010’ work programme;
  • link between the Lisbon integrated guidelines and the ‘Education and training 2010’ work programme;
  • monitoring of and informing on national policy developments;
  • role of the civil society;
  • development of benchmarks and indicators;
  • use of Community funds and programmes.

While Member States have achieved progress in reforming certain strands of their education systems, persistent as well as certain new challenges still need to be addressed. Efforts to overcome these challenges should be stepped up. It is therefore essential that work on an updated strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training for post-2010 is begun now and that this is closely associated with the future development of the Lisbon process.

Online learning: eLearning Programme

Online learning: eLearning Programme

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Online learning: eLearning Programme

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Digital Strategy i2010 Strategy eEurope Action Plan Digital Strategy Programmes

Online learning: eLearning Programme (2004-06)

The eLearning programme was aimed at improving the quality and accessibility of European education and training systems through the effective use of information and communication technologies.

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 2318/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 December 2003 adopting a multiannual programme (2004 to 2006) for the effective integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education and training systems in Europe (eLearning Programme).

Summary

Aims

The general objective of the programme was to encourage the efficient use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in European education and training. The aim was to promote quality education and to adapt education and training systems to the needs of a knowledge-based society and the European social cohesion model.

The specific objectives of the programme were to:

  • explore and promote ways and means of using e-learning to strengthen social cohesion and personal development, foster intercultural dialogue and counteract the digital divide;
  • promote and develop the use of e-learning in enabling lifelong learning in Europe;
  • exploit the potential of e-learning for enhancing the European dimension in education;
  • encourage better-structured cooperation in the field of e-learning between the various Community programmes and instruments and the activities organised by Member States;
  • provide mechanisms for improving the quality of products and services and for ensuring their effective dissemination and the exchange of good practice.

Actions

Actions taken under the eLearning programme covered:

  • Promotion of digital literacy. Actions in this area related to the contribution of ICT to learning, particularly for people who could not benefit from conventional education and training, owing to their geographical location, social situation or special needs. The aim was to identify good examples and build synergies between the many national and European projects for these target groups. A number of studies and a high-level expert group were to produce recommendations in this field.
  • Creation of European virtual campuses. Actions in this area aimed to improve integration of the virtual dimension in higher education. The objective was to encourage the development of new organisational models for European virtual universities (virtual campuses) and for exchanging resources and sharing projects (virtual mobility) by building on existing European cooperation arrangements (Erasmus programme, Bologna process) and adding an e-learning dimension to their operational tools (European Credit Transfer System, European Masters, quality assurance, mobility).
  • Development of e-twinning of primary and secondary schools and promotion of teacher training. Launched on 14 January 2005, action in this area aimed to strengthen and further develop school networking, more specifically through a European school twinning project designed to allow all schools in Europe to set up pedagogical partnerships with counterparts elsewhere in Europe, thus promoting language learning and intercultural dialogue and enhancing awareness of the model of a multilingual and multicultural model of European society.
  • Transversal actions and monitoring of e-learning. Actions in this area were dedicated to the promotion of e-learning in Europe by building on the monitoring of the eLearning action plan. The objectives were to disseminate, promote and adopt good practices and the results of the many projects and programmes financed at European level or by Member States, as well as to reinforce cooperation between the various actors involved, in particular by fostering partnerships between the public and private sectors.

Implementation of the programme also included activities to ensure the dissemination of results (provision of information on the internet, showcasing projects and other events, etc.).

Participating countries

The programme was open to the then 25 Member States of the European Community, the EEA-EFTA countries and the candidate countries for accession to the European Union (EU).

Implementation of the programme

The Commission ensured that the eLearning programme was implemented. It established synergies with other Community programmes and actions and encouraged cooperation with international organisations. The Commission worked together with a committee of representatives of Member States to draw up the annual work plan and budget, as well as all other measures necessary for the implementation of the programme.

The Member States, for their part, had the task of identifying appropriate correspondents to cooperate closely with the Commission as regards relevant information about e-learning use.

Budget

The financial framework for the period from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2006 was EUR 44 million. This budget was allocated as follows:

  • 10 % to e-learning for promoting digital literacy;
  • 30 % to European virtual campuses;
  • around 45 % to e-twinning of schools in Europe and the promotion of teacher training;
  • a maximum of 7.5 % to transversal actions and monitoring of the eLearning action plan;
  • a maximum of 7.5 % to technical and administrative assistance.

Funding was granted following invitations to tender and calls for proposals.

Monitoring and evaluation

The Commission ensured regular monitoring of the programme in cooperation with Member States. In order to assess the general impact of the programme and the relevance and effectiveness of the different actions, the eLearning programme was the subject of an external evaluation.

Background

At the Lisbon European Council of 23 and 24 March 2000, the Heads of State and Government set a new objective for the EU: “to become the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge economy by 2010”. Since then, Europe has already made substantial progress in introducing ICT, but much remains to be done in order to develop its educational uses. The eLearning programme aimed to plug these gaps by intensifying the efforts already undertaken.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 2318/2003/EC

20.1.2004 – 31.12.2006

OJ L 345 of 31.12.2003

Related Acts

Report from the European Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 6 April 2009 – Final Report on the implementation and impact of the second phase (2000-2006) of the Community action programmes in the field of education (Socrates) and vocational training (Leonardo da Vinci) and the multiannual programme (2004-2006) for the effective integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education and training systems in Europe (eLearning) [COM(2009) 159 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The eLearning programme, together with Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci, was integrated into the new lifelong learning programme 2007-13. Consequently, the final evaluation of the programme for the period 2004-06 was produced jointly with the other two programmes. This report is based on that external evaluation, including an analysis of reports from participating countries.
The positive impact of the eLearning programme was apparent in:

  • short-term results;
  • the transnational cooperation between institutions;
  • the quality of teaching, learning and curricula;
  • the development of digital literacy.

Overall, the programme provided a significant impact on education and training, contributing to the creation of a European education area. The impact was both quantitative and qualitative, influencing the individual, institutional and policy-making levels. In particular, the eLearning programme provided an added value in tackling socio-economic disparities and in establishing a culture of cooperation among European institutions.
Throughout its duration, the programme funded the following activities:

  • eTwinning projects involving 7 813 schools (23 812 schools registered for participation);
  • 21 projects on virtual campuses;
  • 25 projects on digital literacy;
  • 16 projects on transversal actions.

Decision No 1720/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing an action programme in the field of lifelong learning [Official Journal L 327 of 24.11.2006].

The eLearning programme has not been renewed as a sectoral programme, but its objectives have been integrated into the lifelong learning programme (2007-13).
The general aim of this programme is to foster interchange, cooperation and mobility between European education and training systems, so that they become a world quality reference. The development of innovative ICT-based content, services, pedagogies and practices is one of the key elements of the programme.


Another Normative about Online learning: eLearning Programme

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Education training youth sport > Education and training: general framework

Online learning: eLearning Programme (2004-06)

The eLearning programme was aimed at improving the quality and accessibility of European education and training systems through the effective use of information and communication technologies.

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 2318/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 December 2003 adopting a multiannual programme (2004 to 2006) for the effective integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education and training systems in Europe (eLearning Programme).

Summary

Aims

The general objective of the programme was to encourage the efficient use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in European education and training. The aim was to promote quality education and to adapt education and training systems to the needs of a knowledge-based society and the European social cohesion model.

The specific objectives of the programme were to:

  • explore and promote ways and means of using e-learning to strengthen social cohesion and personal development, foster intercultural dialogue and counteract the digital divide;
  • promote and develop the use of e-learning in enabling lifelong learning in Europe;
  • exploit the potential of e-learning for enhancing the European dimension in education;
  • encourage better-structured cooperation in the field of e-learning between the various Community programmes and instruments and the activities organised by Member States;
  • provide mechanisms for improving the quality of products and services and for ensuring their effective dissemination and the exchange of good practice.

Actions

Actions taken under the eLearning programme covered:

  • Promotion of digital literacy. Actions in this area related to the contribution of ICT to learning, particularly for people who could not benefit from conventional education and training, owing to their geographical location, social situation or special needs. The aim was to identify good examples and build synergies between the many national and European projects for these target groups. A number of studies and a high-level expert group were to produce recommendations in this field.
  • Creation of European virtual campuses. Actions in this area aimed to improve integration of the virtual dimension in higher education. The objective was to encourage the development of new organisational models for European virtual universities (virtual campuses) and for exchanging resources and sharing projects (virtual mobility) by building on existing European cooperation arrangements (Erasmus programme, Bologna process) and adding an e-learning dimension to their operational tools (European Credit Transfer System, European Masters, quality assurance, mobility).
  • Development of e-twinning of primary and secondary schools and promotion of teacher training. Launched on 14 January 2005, action in this area aimed to strengthen and further develop school networking, more specifically through a European school twinning project designed to allow all schools in Europe to set up pedagogical partnerships with counterparts elsewhere in Europe, thus promoting language learning and intercultural dialogue and enhancing awareness of the model of a multilingual and multicultural model of European society.
  • Transversal actions and monitoring of e-learning. Actions in this area were dedicated to the promotion of e-learning in Europe by building on the monitoring of the eLearning action plan. The objectives were to disseminate, promote and adopt good practices and the results of the many projects and programmes financed at European level or by Member States, as well as to reinforce cooperation between the various actors involved, in particular by fostering partnerships between the public and private sectors.

Implementation of the programme also included activities to ensure the dissemination of results (provision of information on the internet, showcasing projects and other events, etc.).

Participating countries

The programme was open to the then 25 Member States of the European Community, the EEA-EFTA countries and the candidate countries for accession to the European Union (EU).

Implementation of the programme

The Commission ensured that the eLearning programme was implemented. It established synergies with other Community programmes and actions and encouraged cooperation with international organisations. The Commission worked together with a committee of representatives of Member States to draw up the annual work plan and budget, as well as all other measures necessary for the implementation of the programme.

The Member States, for their part, had the task of identifying appropriate correspondents to cooperate closely with the Commission as regards relevant information about e-learning use.

Budget

The financial framework for the period from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2006 was EUR 44 million. This budget was allocated as follows:

  • 10 % to e-learning for promoting digital literacy;
  • 30 % to European virtual campuses;
  • around 45 % to e-twinning of schools in Europe and the promotion of teacher training;
  • a maximum of 7.5 % to transversal actions and monitoring of the eLearning action plan;
  • a maximum of 7.5 % to technical and administrative assistance.

Funding was granted following invitations to tender and calls for proposals.

Monitoring and evaluation

The Commission ensured regular monitoring of the programme in cooperation with Member States. In order to assess the general impact of the programme and the relevance and effectiveness of the different actions, the eLearning programme was the subject of an external evaluation.

Background

At the Lisbon European Council of 23 and 24 March 2000, the Heads of State and Government set a new objective for the EU: “to become the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge economy by 2010”. Since then, Europe has already made substantial progress in introducing ICT, but much remains to be done in order to develop its educational uses. The eLearning programme aimed to plug these gaps by intensifying the efforts already undertaken.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 2318/2003/EC

20.1.2004 – 31.12.2006

OJ L 345 of 31.12.2003

Related Acts

Report from the European Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 6 April 2009 – Final Report on the implementation and impact of the second phase (2000-2006) of the Community action programmes in the field of education (Socrates) and vocational training (Leonardo da Vinci) and the multiannual programme (2004-2006) for the effective integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education and training systems in Europe (eLearning) [COM(2009) 159 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The eLearning programme, together with Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci, was integrated into the new lifelong learning programme 2007-13. Consequently, the final evaluation of the programme for the period 2004-06 was produced jointly with the other two programmes. This report is based on that external evaluation, including an analysis of reports from participating countries.
The positive impact of the eLearning programme was apparent in:

  • short-term results;
  • the transnational cooperation between institutions;
  • the quality of teaching, learning and curricula;
  • the development of digital literacy.

Overall, the programme provided a significant impact on education and training, contributing to the creation of a European education area. The impact was both quantitative and qualitative, influencing the individual, institutional and policy-making levels. In particular, the eLearning programme provided an added value in tackling socio-economic disparities and in establishing a culture of cooperation among European institutions.
Throughout its duration, the programme funded the following activities:

  • eTwinning projects involving 7 813 schools (23 812 schools registered for participation);
  • 21 projects on virtual campuses;
  • 25 projects on digital literacy;
  • 16 projects on transversal actions.

Decision No 1720/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing an action programme in the field of lifelong learning [Official Journal L 327 of 24.11.2006].

The eLearning programme has not been renewed as a sectoral programme, but its objectives have been integrated into the lifelong learning programme (2007-13).
The general aim of this programme is to foster interchange, cooperation and mobility between European education and training systems, so that they become a world quality reference. The development of innovative ICT-based content, services, pedagogies and practices is one of the key elements of the programme.

The Bologna process: setting up the European Higher Education Area

The Bologna process: setting up the European Higher Education Area

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Bologna process: setting up the European Higher Education Area

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Lifelong learning

The Bologna process: setting up the European Higher Education Area

inter alia, to help diverse higher education systems converge towards more transparent systems, based on three cycles: Degree/Bachelor – Master – Doctorate.

Document or Iniciative

The Bologna Declarationof 19 June 1999 – Joint declaration of the European Ministers of Education [Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Bologna Declaration initiated the Bologna process. This process is designed to introduce a system of academic degrees that are easily recognisable and comparable, promote the mobility of students, teachers and researchers, ensure high quality teaching and incorporate the European dimension into higher education.

Making academic degrees comparable and promoting mobility

The Bologna Declaration involves six actions relating to:

  • a system of academic degrees that are easy to recognise and compare. It includes the introduction of a shared diploma supplement to improve transparency;
  • a system based essentially on two cycles: a first cycle geared to the labour market and lasting at least three years, and a second cycle (Master) conditional on the completion of the first cycle;
  • a system of accumulation and transfer of credits of the ECTS type used in the Erasmus exchange scheme;
  • mobility of students, teachers and researchers: elimination of all obstacles to freedom of movement;
  • cooperation with regard to quality assurance;
  • the European dimension in higher education: increase the number of modules and teaching and study areas where the content, guidance or organisation has a European dimension.

Reform of higher education systems in Europe

The Bologna Declaration is a voluntary undertaking by each signatory country to reform its own education system; this reform is not imposed on the national governments or universities. As for Member States of the European Union (EU), Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that the Union “shall contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, by supporting and supplementing their action”.

Nevertheless, Member States remain fully responsible for the content of teaching and the organisation of their education systems as well as their cultural and linguistic diversity. Union action is aimed at:

  • developing the European dimension in education, particularly through the teaching and dissemination of the languages of Member States;
  • encouraging mobility of students and teachers, by encouraging inter alia, the academic recognition of diplomas and periods of study;
  • promoting cooperation between educational establishments;
  • exchanges of information and experience on issues common to the education systems of Member States.

Prague Communiquéof 19 May 2001 – Towards the European Higher Education Area

The Prague Communiqué added the following actions to the Bologna process:

  • lifelong learning, an essential element of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), to increase economic competitiveness;
  • the involvement of higher education institutions and students; the ministers underline the importance of involving universities, other higher education establishments and students to create a constructive EHEA;
  • promote the attractiveness of the EHEA among students in Europe and in other parts of the world.

Berlin Communiquéof 19 September 2003 – “Realising the European Higher Education Area”

At the 2003 Berlin conference, the ministers responsible for higher education adopted a communiqué that included doctorate studies and synergies between the EHEA and the European Research Area (ERA) in the Bologna process. They underlined the importance of research, research training and the promotion of interdisciplinary research to maintain and improve the quality of higher education and strengthen its competitiveness. They called for increased mobility at doctorate and post-doctorate level and encouraged the institutions in question to enhance their cooperation in the spheres of doctorate studies and training of young researchers.

Bergen Communiquéof 19-20 May 2005 – The European Higher Education Area – Achieving the Goals

The Bergen Communiqué noted that significant progress had been made concerning the objectives of the Bologna process. By 2007, the ministers would like to have made progress in the following areas:

  • implementing references and guidelines to guarantee quality, as proposed in the ENQA report (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education);
  • introducing national qualification frameworks;
  • awarding and recognising joint degrees, including at doctorate level;
  • creating opportunities for flexible pathways for training in higher education, including the existence of provisions for the validation of experience.

London Communiquéof 18 May 2007 – Towards the European Higher Education Area: responding to challenges in a globalised world

The period between 2005 and 2007 saw good overall progress towards the EHEA. Nevertheless, many challenges still remain. Focus should now be on:

  • promoting the mobility of students and staff, as well as developing measures for evaluating this mobility;
  • evaluating the effectiveness of national strategies on the social dimension in education;
  • developing indicators and data for measuring progress regarding mobility and the social dimension;
  • examining ways to improve employability linked to the three-cycle degree system and lifelong learning;
  • improving the dissemination of information about the EHEA and its recognition throughout the world;
  • continuing to take stock of progress towards the EHEA and developing the qualitative analysis in this stocktaking.

Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve Communiquéof 28-29 April 2009 – The Bologna Process 2020 – The European Higher Education Area in the new decade

This communiqué noted that progress has been achieved on the Bologna process and that the EHEA has been well developed since the Bologna Declaration of 1999. However, certain targets needed to still be realised in full and properly applied at European, national and institutional levels. Consequently, the communiqué noted that the Bologna process will continue beyond 2010 with the following priorities having been set for the new decade:

  • providing equal opportunities to quality education – participation in higher education should be widened; in particular, students from underrepresented groups should be given the necessary conditions to participate;
  • increasing participation in lifelong learning – the accessibility and quality of, as well as transparency of information on, lifelong learning must be ensured. The related policies should be implemented together with national qualifications frameworks and through strong partnerships between all stakeholders;
  • promoting employability – stakeholders should cooperate to raise initial qualifications and renew a skilled workforce, as well as to improve the provision, accessibility and quality of guidance on careers and employment. In addition, work placements included in study programmes and on-the-job learning should be further encouraged;
  • developing student-centred learning outcomes and teaching missions – this should include the development of international reference points for different subject areas and enhancing of the teaching quality of study programmes;
  • intertwining education, research and innovation – the acquisition of research competences should be increased, research should be better integrated within doctoral programmes and the career development of early stage researchers should be made more attractive;
  • opening higher education institutions to the international fora – European institutions should further internationalise their activities and collaborate at the global stage;
  • increasing opportunities for and quality of mobility – by 2020, 20% of graduates should have spent a study or training period abroad;
  • improving data collection – data should be collected in order to monitor and evaluate progress made on the objectives of the Bologna process;
  • developing multidimensional transparency tools – to acquire detailed information about higher education institutions and their programmes, transparency tools should be developed together with key stakeholders. These tools should be based on comparable data and proper indicators, as well as take on board the quality assurance and recognition principles of the Bologna process;
  • guaranteeing funding – new and diverse funding solutions should be found to complement public funding.

Budapest-Vienna Declarationof 12 March 2010 on the European Higher Education Area

This declaration marked the end of the first decade of the Bologna Process and officially launched the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), as envisaged in the Bologna Declaration of 1999. With this declaration, the ministers:

  • welcomed Kazakhstan as the 47th participating country of the European Higher Education Area;
  • underlined the specific nature of the Bologna Process, i.e. a unique partnership between public authorities, higher education institutions, students and staff, together with employers, quality assurance agencies, international organisations and European institutions;
  • stressed that the Bologna Process and the resulting European Higher Education Area, being unprecedented examples of regional, cross-border cooperation in higher education, had raised considerable interest in other parts of the world and made European higher education more visible on the global map. The ministers also declared to look forward to intensifying their policy dialogue and cooperation with partners across the world;
  • acknowledged the findings of various reports, which indicate that some of the Bologna action lines had been implemented to varying degrees and that recent protests in some countries showed the Bologna aims and reforms had not been properly implemented and explained. The ministers promised to listen to the critical voices raised among staff and students;
  • reiterated their commitment to the full and proper implementation of the agreed objectives and the agenda for the next decade set by the Leuven/ Louvain-la-Neuve Communiqué.

Moreover, the ministers highlighted the following issues:

  • academic freedom as well as autonomy and accountability of higher education institutions as principles of the European Higher Education Area;
  • the key role of the academic community – institutional leaders, teachers, researchers, administrative staff and students – in making the European Higher Education Area a reality;
  • higher education as a public responsibility, i.e. higher education institutions should be given the necessary resources within a framework established and overseen by public authorities;
  • the need for increased efforts on the social dimension in order to provide equal opportunities to quality education, paying particular attention to underrepresented groups.

The ministers responsible for higher education agreed to meet again in Bucharest on 26-27 April 2012.

Background

On 18 September 1988, to mark the 900 years since the founding of the University of Bologna, the university rectors signed the Magna Charta Universitatum . They considered that “at the approaching end of this millennium the future of mankind depends largely on cultural, scientific and technical development”. Universities shape this knowledge.

To celebrate the 800 years of the University of Paris, the ministers responsible for higher education in Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom adopted the Sorbonne Declaration on 25 May 1998. This declaration aimed to harmonise the architecture of the European higher education system. The ministers stressed that “the Europe we are building is not only that of the euro, the banks and the economy, it must be a Europe of knowledge as well”.

The Bologna Declaration of 19 June 1999 has been signed by 30 European countries, including the then 15 Member States of the EU (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom) as well as the 10 countries that joined the EU on 1 May 2004 (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia). Iceland, Norway and the Swiss Confederation are also signatories to the declaration, as are Bulgaria and Romania, who became members of the EU on 1 January 2007. Kazakhstan joined the Bologna process in March 2010.

Today, 47 countries participate in the Bologna process after having fulfilled the accession conditions and procedures . The countries subscribing to the European Cultural Convention, signed on 19 December 1954 under the aegis of the Council of Europe, are eligible for membership of the EHEA, provided that they declare their intention to incorporate the objectives of the Bologna process into their own higher education system. Their membership applications must include information on the way in which they will implement the principles and objectives.

The Bologna process is in line with the objectives of Education and Training 2020 and Europe 2020.

Success of Lisbon strategy hinges on urgent reforms

Success of Lisbon strategy hinges on urgent reforms

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Success of Lisbon strategy hinges on urgent reforms

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Education and training: general framework

Success of Lisbon strategy hinges on urgent reforms

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission – “Education & Training 2010”: The success of the Lisbon Strategy hinges on urgent reforms (Draft joint interim report on the implementation of the detailed work programme on the follow-up of the objectives of education and training systems in Europe) [COM (2003) 685 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

At the Lisbon European Council held in March 2000, the Heads of State and Government set the Union a major strategic goal for 2010: “to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion”. In March 2001, the European Council adopted three strategic goals (and 13 associated concrete objectives) to be attained by 2010: education and training systems should be organised around quality, access and openness to the world. A year later, it approved a detailed work programme for the attainment of these goals

The five European benchmarks adopted by the Education Council in May 2003 will for the most part be difficult to achieve by 2010. For example, the level of education in Europe remains inadequate (only 75% of young people aged 22 have completed some form of upper secondary level education, against a target of 85% by 2010), the level of participation in lifelong learning continues to be low (fewer than 10% of adults participate in further learning, the target being to reach 12.5% by 2010), and both failure at school (one in five pupils drops out of school, the objective being to reduce this rate by half) and social exclusion remain too high in the face of a worrying shortage of teachers (by 2015, mainly because of the retirement of existing teachers, over a million teachers will have to be recruited).

In addition, there are no signs of any substantial increase in overall investment (be it public or private) in human resources. During the period 1995-2000, public-sector investment dwindled in most Member States and is now 4.9 % of GDP in the EU. The Union is suffering in particular from under-investment by the private sector in higher education and continuing training. In comparison to the Union, private-sector investment is five times higher in the United States (2.2% of GDP compared with 0.4% in the EU) and three times higher in Japan (1.2%). In addition, the expenditure per student in the United States is higher than that of almost all EU countries at all levels of the education system. The greatest difference is in higher education: the United States spends between two and five times more per student than the EU countries.

These continuing weaknesses are all the more worrying as the effects of investment and reforms on the systems are felt only in the medium and even long term, and as the date of 2010 is getting closer and closer. A wake-up call is therefore essential at all levels if there is still to be a chance of achieving the Lisbon objectives. To this end, the Commission feels it is essential to act simultaneously, and right away, on four priority areas:

  • concentrate reforms and investment on the key points in each country;
  • make lifelong learning a reality;
  • finally create a Europe of education and training;
  • give “Education & Training 2010” its rightful place.

In relation to the first area, the Commission asks that Member States identify their weak points and increase investment accordingly. It asks in particular:

  • that each country make known its national policy priorities on investment and reform in education and training, for the short and medium term, as well as its contribution to the attainment of the European objectives for 2010;
  • that Member States increase the resources allocated to education and training. A higher level of public-sector investment in certain key areas (see Communication of 10 January 2003) and a greater contribution from the private sector, particularly in higher education (see Communication of 5 February 2003), adult education and continuing training are the key elements of success. Member States are also requested to make greater use of the Structural Funds and the European Investment Bank’s “Innovation 2010” initiative for investment in education and training;
  • that, by 2005, each country put in place an action plan on continuing training for educational staff which is up to these challenges and can make the profession of teacher/trainer more attractive.

With regard to the second area, the Commission calls on Member States to define truly coherent and comprehensive lifelong learning strategies, and in particular to:

  • put in place, no later than 2005, comprehensive, coherent and concerted strategies;
  • target efforts at disadvantaged groups in order to make education and training systems more attractive, more accessible and tailored more closely to their needs;
  • systematically apply common European references and principles, such as ‘ Europass ‘ and the principles for the validation of learning.

In relation to the third area, the Commission is in favour of rapidly introducing a European reference framework for qualifications in higher education and vocational training, and calls on Member States to:

  • rapidly introduce a European qualifications framework to act as a common reference for the recognition of qualifications. The Commission is determined to make all necessary efforts to achieve this by 2005;
  • consolidate the European dimension of education, and in particular to step up language teaching at all levels and strengthen the European dimension in teacher training and in primary and secondary curricula. The definition by 2005 of a Community benchmark regarding a profile of European knowledge and competences to be acquired by pupils should make it possible to support and facilitate national action in this area.

The Commission highlights the essential role of education and training in the fields of employment, social cohesion and growth, and wants the Lisbon strategy’s “Education & Training 2010” initiative to become a more effective tool for formulating and following up national and Community policies.

Given that time is running out for taking effective action before 2010, the Commission proposes that all of these measures be taken quickly, and feels it is essential to achieve a more structured and more systematic follow-up to progress made. It proposes that Member States submit to it, each year as from 2004, a consolidated report on all the action they take on education and training which can contribute to the Lisbon strategy.

Related Acts

“Education and Training 2010” The success of the Lisbon Strategy hinges on urgent reforms (Joint interim report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the detailed work programme on the follow-up of the objectives of education and training systems in Europe) [Official Journal C 104 of 30.04.2004].

This joint Council and Commission document is a response to the Barcelona European Council’s request for a report in March 2004 on the implementation of the work programme on the objectives of education and training systems. It reviews the progress made to date, describes the challenges to be met and proposes measures to be taken in order to achieve the objectives. This joint report also looks at the implementation of the Recommendation and the action plan on mobility, the Education Council’s Resolution on lifelong learning and the Copenhagen Ministerial Declaration on enhanced European cooperation in education and vocational training. It is also informed by the following up of a number of Commission communications, particularly those relating to the urgent need to invest more in human resources and to do so more efficiently, the role of universities in the knowledge-based Europe, the need to upgrade the profession of researcher in Europe, and the comparison of performance in education across Europe with the rest of the world.
Despite the progress achieved (such as the implementation of the Erasmus Mundus and eLearning programmes), the report emphasises that the European Union must catch up with its main competitors (the United States and Japan) in terms of investment and develop comprehensive strategies to make lifelong learning a reality.