EUCIS-LLL Policy Debate “Digital wave: supporting a cultural shift in learning systems?”, 4 March, European Parliament
EUCIS-LLL is organising a policy debate on “Digital wave: supporting a cultural shift in learning systems?” on 4th March (15’00-18’00) at the European Parliament with the support of the EPP group. Hosted by MEP Maria do Céu PATRÃO NEVES and Maria Da Graça CARVALHO, MEP (Portugal, EPP), this debate will gather educational experts and decision-makers to take stock of the recent European policy developments and deepen the reflection on the direction to take in 2014 onwards. Ana Carla Pereira, Head of Unit “Skills and qualifications strategies” at the DG EAC will be there to present the ambition of the “Opening Up Education” Communication. Panel discussions will be focused around two trends: how can digital tools contribute to pedagogic innovation, a key priority in EUCIS-LLL Manifesto for the European elections, and how to keep the momentum with concrete measures and commitments at the national level to make it happen. Registrations are open!

EUCIS-LLL training session on Erasmus+
erasmustrainingeuOn 5 March EUCIS-LLL organises a training session in Brussels on Erasmus+ the new EU funding programme for education, training, youth and sport 2014-2020. The session is aimed at civil society organisations but also all interested participants that will be potential Erasmus+ beneficiaries. Several experts will intervene from the Belgian National Agencies to the European Commission as well as successful project coordinators for you to get better acquainted with the new actions and have all the tips to concretise innovative ideas. Find more information on our webpage and register here.

EUCIS-LLL Lifelong Learning Week: reflecting on European civic education
In December 2013 EUCIS-LLL held in the European Parliament its Lifelong Learning Week, gathering various educational stakeholders around key moments of reflection of the European agenda in education and training. One of them was the roundtable “Making the case for European civic education” on 4 December, jointly organised with the European Civic Forum. More than ever we need to create a dialogue about Europe in our schools, associations and in public spaces. It is about the common values of Europe such as tolerance, human rights and democracy that are linked to issues such as xenophobia, racism and gender equality. The role of educational institutions and civil society in that sense were discussed during the event, from which you can find the full reporton our website. More reports from the LLL Week coming soon!

EUCIS-LLL calls MEPs to support its Manifesto “Building together the Future of Learning”
The 2014 European elections will provide the right momentum to think about the future of learning in Europe. Poor access to lifelong learning limits people’s ability to access quality jobs and participate fully in society. We need a vision and a sustainable investment to ensure our education and training systems deliver better for economic development, social and civic participation, personal fulfilment and well-being. The European Parliament and civil society should further engage together in the future of learning. EUCIS-LLL Manifesto“Building together the Future of Learning” comprises 12 principles for lifelong lifelong. If you are an MEP and willing to support our manifesto contact us orclick here. We also encourage educational stakeholders to launch a debate on the future of learning at national level with their candidate MEPs and to use our Manifesto – already available in (EN) (FR) (DE) (NL) (PT) (PL) (TR) (IT).

/// NEWS FROM MEMBERS AND PARTNERS ///
EFIL Symposium “Spectrum of Education – Creativity”, 24-27 April, Istanbul
The European Federation for Intercultural Learning (EFIL) will organise on 24-27 April in Istanbul, Turkey its annual symposium to gather various stakeholders from different cultural backgrounds to reflect upon a common theme. This year’s specific focus on creativity in education and intercultural learning will be the opportunity to share best practices and learn from each other through debates with experts, intercultural workshops by AFS trainers, educational best practice workshops delivered by attendees from all around the world, creativity sessions, field trips, co-teaching opportunities and visits to like-minded organizations. Apply here before 17 February!

ICC Annual Conference: language, learning and the brain
The International Language Association (ICC) is holding on 26-27 April its Annual Conference on “Language, learning and the brain” in Mainz, Germany.The event will mainly focus on lessons learned from neurosciences and neurolinguistics for language learning and teaching, while the 2012 Commission’s Communication on “Rethinking Education” has shed a new light on the importance of language learning across the EU. The Conference will also allow for many networking opportunities through various interactive workshops and a marketplace. See the draft programme and register here!

AEGEE’s “Key to Europe” is out
“Key to Europe” is the European Students’ Forum (AEGEE) Annual Review. Discover the 2012-2013 edition that summarises all the actions that AEGEE has undertaken in the past year in the field of personal development, inclusion of minority or youth participation. You can notably find out more about AEGEE’s2014 campaign “Y vote” to tackle the challenge of low turnout among young Europeans during the European elections next May that includes local activities, bus tours, etc.

ENT-TEACH final conference: stimulating entrepreneurial teaching in VET
The ENT-TEACH EU-funded project addresses entrepreneurship in senior secondary vocational education institutes and seeks to provide teachers with tools and materials to educate, inspire and motivate students for entrepreneurship. The EN-TEACH consortium is organising the project final event on “VET reinvented: Vocational & Entrepreneurship Teaching” that will take place on Friday 7th March from 9.00 at the Delegation of the Basque Country to the EU (rue des Deux Eglises, 27). Register here and visit the project website available in 5 languages where you can find material to be used by teachers and trainers. See also EUCIS-LLL position paper and compendium of good practices on “Fostering entrepreneurial mindsets” as well as our recentpolicy debate on entrepreneurship skills in the European Parliament.

/// INSTITUTIONAL NEWS ///

Committee of Regions has its say on Opening Up Education
On 30-31 January the Committee of Regions adopted its opinion on the Commission’s Communication “Opening Up Education“, drafted by Ms Yoomi Renström (SE/PES). Among the Committee’s key messages, more emphasis should be put on a better access to open educational resources and new technologies for all learners, whatever their geographical situation, and a particular attention should be paid to disadvantaged areas with the help of structural and investment funds. EUCIS-LLL supports many good elements of the document beyond the focus on access, such as the crucial role of local communities to support a shift of mindsets towards the digital revolution – as underlined by Mr Claudio Dondi in his intervention on the topic in a recent European Parliament public hearing where he represented EUCIS-LLL andMENON. See also EUCIS-LLL position paper on Opening Up Education.

UNESCO Mobile Learning Week: improving learning via mobile devices
From 17 to 21 February the UNESCO will hold its flagship Mobile Learning Week, which focuses on how mobile phones can improve access to education material in the poorest areas of the globe. This year, the emphasis will be put on teachers as the pillars of our education systems and key actors in the digital revolution to promote inclusive and better learning everywhere. Several key challenges and opportunities will be discussed, such as ensuring equity of devices, online safety, limited mobile-friendly content and the need for teacher training. As UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova puts it “On its own, technology is not enough. Empowerment comes from skills and opportunities to use them. It comes from quality content that is inclusive, that draws on local languages and knowledge systems”. See also EUCIS-LLL position paper onOpening Up Education.

MEPs from CULT Committee react to EU Citizenship Report 2013
On 24 January the European Parliament Committee for Culture and Education gave an input on the EU citizenship report 2013 for the Committee on Petitions. The opinion, drafted by MEP Morten Løkkegaard (ALDE, DK), supports the Commission’s initiative to raise citizens’ awareness on their rights and reminds how crucial it is to increase their participation in EU democratic life. It also recalls the importance of creating a “structured framework for European civil dialogue” as a means to concretise participatory citizenship and underlines the role of organised civil society in that sense, calling for less administrative burden and adequate funding for them.

Launch of the European Social Fund: investing in education in partnership with civil society
On 6-7 February the European Commission and the Greek presidency of the European Council held a conference to launch the European Social Fund 2014-2020. New investment priorities under the various cohesion policy thematic objectives such as “Investing in education, training and vocational training for skills and lifelong learning” (see Common Provisions Regulation) were discussed but also new levers for actions. Education was indeed one of the key areas for reform mentioned by Commissioner László ANDOR while opening the conference. The European Code of Conduct on Partnership (see Regulation andbest practices), recently adopted and involving key stakeholders in the design, implementation and evaluation of the new structural funds, will also be debated. The Commission has for the occasion developed a thematic paper onGood Governance where the involvement of civil society is enhanced as a key success factor for an effective ESF intervention.

/// RESEARCH & INNOVATION ///

New eLearning paper on Learning Analytics and Assessment
Targeted at various stakeholders, the eLearning papers that you can now find on the new Open Education Europa portal stimulate reflection on open educational resources and in general new technologies and education in Europe. The latest eLearning Papers item discuss how Learning Analytics uses the learners’ digital trail to gain a better understanding of and improve the learning process. The articles propose a teacher-led design inquiry of learning and expose the benefits of combining learning analytics and open linked data research. The Papers also propose four case studies introducing assessment in basic maths, concept mapping for reflection, an analysis of the teachers’ learning process and real-time visualisation of discussion activities in a MOOC.

Evidence-based policies in UK schools
The National Foundation for Educational Research, the UK’s largest independent provider of research, assessment and information services for education, training and children’s services, has released a recent study on “Using evidence in the classroom: what works and why?“. Based on UK recent evidence, the research seeks to identify factors that enable effective use of evidence within schools, discuss ways in which evidence is being produced and used in practice and analyse evaluations of the effectiveness of different approaches to evidence use. One of the key findings of the study is that knowledge mobilisation can be better achieved through transversal partnerships: indeed, evidence should not be only summarised to be put into practice but rather needs interaction and collaboration between teaching professionals and researchers, sometimes via intermediary organisations.

/// EU FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES ///

Erasmus Mundus action programme call for proposals – Implementation in 2014
The Erasmus Mundus programme aims to promote European higher education, to help improve and enhance the career prospects of students and to promote intercultural understanding through cooperation with third countries, in accordance with EU external policy objectives in order to contribute to the sustainable development of third countries in the field of higher education. The call can be found here. The deadline for submissions is 3 March 2014.

Erasmus+ general call for proposals
This call for proposals is based on the Erasmus+ regulation recently adopted by the European Parliament and Council to implement the Erasmus+ programme 2014-2020. Deadline for Key Action 1 (“Mobility of individuals in the field of education, training and youth”): 17 March. Deadline for Key Action 2 (“Strategic Partnerships in the field of education, training and youth”): 30 April.

Erasmus+ Call for proposals 2014 for operating grants to European NGOs and EU-wide networks in education, training and youth
The objective of the call is to provide structural support, referred to as operating grant, to European non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) and EU-wide networks active in the field of education and training or in the field of youth and pursuing several aims (multiplication of EU action, increase stakeholders participation  and commitment, etc.) Deadline: 17 march 2014.

Call for proposals 2013 for joint mobility projects (JMP) and joint degree projects (JDP) – EACEA 24/13
The call’s objective is to enhance mutual understanding between people of the EU and the partner countries including broader knowledge of their languages, cultures and institutions and to enhance the quality of higher education and training by stimulating balanced partnerships between higher education and training institutions in the EU and in partner countries. Deadline for application: 15 May 2014.

/// PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS ///

Have your say on a European area of skills and qualifications
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on a European area of skills and qualifications. The objective of the consultation is to collect the views of stakeholders on the problems faced by learners and workers with regard to the transparency and recognition of their skills and qualifications when moving within and between EU Member States, on the adequacy of the related European policies and instruments and on the potential benefits of developing a “European Area of Skills and Qualifications”. Deadline for input: 15 April 2014.