/// EUCIS-LLL NEWS ///

Cohesion policy: EUCIS-LLL and NGOs join forces to defend the partnership principle
EUCIS-LLL has been closely following up on the elaboration of the new European Social Fund and cohesion policy 2014-2020 where education, training and lifelong learning are among the main thematic objectives. The Platform had contributed more than a year ago to a joint letter from civil society to strongly support the partnership and multi-governance principles that involve stakeholders in the design, implementation and evaluation of EU structural funds. Together with those NGOs, EUCIS-LLL has sent on 19 March to the European Commission a new letter emphasising the lack of timely access to information, sufficient time for reaction and technical assistance for stakeholders in many Member States and calling the Commission to hold them accountable for their commitment.

Call for MEPs to support our 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 or click 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).

“Europe +” is born!
EUCIS-LLL has joined the board of “Europe+: civil society for the renewal of European democracy” that aims to be a transparent and inclusive space for debate created by, and for civil society, to design a constructive regeneration of the European project. Consisting of 40+ European civil society organisations, working together for positive democratic change in the EU through the active and better involvement of citizens in representative and participative democracy, institutional reforms and policy changes. Europe+ builds on the recommendations of the European Year of Citizens Alliance 2013 (EYCA) and is committed to relaunching and strengthening the European debate and civil dialogue between recognised civil society and open and responsive institutions, at all levels of democratic life (European, national,regional, local and grassroots).

/// NEWS FROM MEMBERS AND PARTNERS ///

AEGEE’s “Europe on Track” is back
The European Students’ Forum (AEGEE) is about to launch the second edition of its “Europe on Track” project that had won in 2013 the Charlemagne Youth Prize 2013. The initiative is aimed at grasping a better future for European youth and establishing a bidirectional communication channel between young people and decision makers. Young people will have the chance to speak up for their concerns and be encouraged to take action. Mobility and Europe will be this time the focus of interactive workshops, sessions and discussions held with the six project ambassadors that will travel the continent to meet European Youth.

EAEA Grundtvig Award 2014 call opened!
The European Association for the Education of Adults organises every year the Grundtvig Award ceremony to celebrate innovation and excellence in adult education. It is now time for nominations for Grundtvig Award 2014, this year’s theme being “Remembering World War I for the Future – Adult Education promoting peace and cohesion in Europe”. EAEA is looking for adult education projects linked to World War I remembrance, peace and conflict resolution. The award is linked to the DVV International and EAEA coordinated project “Remembering for the Future” which collects adult education initiatives focusing on World War I remembrance activities together.

Register for EUROCLIO Annual Conference 2015
The 2015 EUROCLIO International Training Course and Annual Conference will take place in Elsinore, Denmark and be entitled “Roads to Democracy. How can History Teachers pave the way?”. Participants will have the occasion to compare and contrast the history of the democratisation, citizenship and civil society from a Danish, European and global perspective and engage in a Europe-wide debate on the role of history education in the promotion of democratic values, citizenship and civil society volunteering in historical and contemporary contexts. For the Training Course registration is now open and the draft programme available. See more on the conference website.

/// INSTITUTIONAL NEWS ///

CULT Committee: adoption of report on OERs & exchange with the Commissioner
The Parliament draft report on New technologies and open educational resources was adopted yesterday in Committee for Culture and Education by unanimity (soon to be found here), following the release of the “Opening Up Education” Communication. EUCIS-LLL had drafted a position paper and submitted amendments to the European Parliament among many other actions (see our webpage). During this meeting Commissioner Vassiliou for Education and Culture also paid a visit to MEPs to evoke progress made towards 2020 targets and underline the need to maintain the momentum, notably through the EU Semester and Country-Specific Recommendations where the Commission tries every year to reinforce the strategic importance of education and the need to reform and invest. Among key priorities for the future Commissioner mandate, MEPs insisted on entrepreneurship education, the digital agenda, youth unemployment and sport. Watch the Committee meeting here.

EPSCO Council commits for quality traineeships
The Employment, Social Policies, Health and Consumer Affairs Council adopted on 10 March a Council Recommendation on a Quality Framework for Traineeships. The document notably recommends the setting up of proper learning and training objectives and the recognition and validation of learning outcomes acquired during the traineeship. EUCIS-LLL is in this line closely following up on the implementation of the 2012 Council Recommendation on validation through its task force on validation. Ministers also discussed the implementation of the Youth Employment Initiative and the Youth Guarantee. See the Commission’s reaction and also the Greek presidency conference on vocational education and training (26 March).

OECD and World Bank’s new “Innovation Policy Platform”
The OECD and World Bank have developed a joint “Innovation Policy Platform” aimed to provide policy-makers, analysts, international organisations, NGOs and key stakeholders a tool to identify innovative policies around the world. The system can be browsed by country but also by topic. In the module “Innovation definitions and fundamentals” for instance and to the question “What conditions impact on innovation?”, skills and education have been identified as major drivers for innovation and international mobility a concrete solution to foster internationalisation of ideas.

UNESCO’s “Teacher Tuesday”: 10 weeks, 10 stories
UNESCO has launched a month ago a social media campaign entitled“#TeacherTuesday” to raise awareness on teachers’ working conditions over the globe. Until 20 April, 10 teachers from 10 countries will share their story from Syria to Afghanistan. See also the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/2014 on Teaching and Learning and participate in the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2015 Consultation.

/// RESEARCH & INNOVATION ///

ESN new publication on Automatic Recognition of Full Degress
The Erasmus Students’ Network has released last February a new study on recognition of learning outcomes acquired by Erasmus students. The study shows that recognition is still a challenge in some cases and that there is a cruel lack of data coming from the students themselves. The research is based on the ESN Survey 2014, an online investigation targeting exchange students and focusing this year on “International experience and language learning”.

CEDEFOP latest publications
The CEDEFOP has released a briefing note on Skill mismatch: more than meets the eye providing an in-depth analysis of the current situation in Europe regarding the gaps between education provision and labour market needs. The document notably recommends high investments in the continuous development and use of skills of employer and unemployed adults throughout working life. CEDEFOP also issued a publication on “Attractiveness of initial vocational education and training: identifying what matters” analysing what makes initial VET an attractive option to potential students, such as wider educational and family contexts.

MATEL study: prospective technologies for lifelong learning
Mapping and analysing prospective technologies for learning” is a research commissioned to the MENON Network by the Joint Research Center – Institute for prospective technological studies (JRC-IPTS) of the European Commission. Based on a broad stakeholders’ consultation, it aims to identify which technologies will play a crucial role in education in five to ten years and provide policy recommendations. In its roadmap for re-skilling and up-skilling strategies, the document states that a new approach to skills is needed as individuals are meant to perform several jobs in their life. Setting common rules for validation of non-formal skills (see EUCIS-LLL task force) is therefore essential and technologies can help in that sense, such as portfolios and open repositories. Concretely at EU level, it could mean further development of the Europass framework (see future Europass experience).

UNESCO Conference report on Learning Cities
In October 2013 UNESCO organised an international conference on Learning Cities in Beijing, China on the theme “Lifelong learning for all: inclusion, prosperity and sustainability in cities”. The Beijing Declaration on Building Learning Cities engaging all participants took shape, highlighting the crucial role of learning cities and regions for lifelong learning and sustainable development as they mobilise human resources to promote inclusive learning, revitalise learning in families and communities, facilitate learning for and in the workplace, etc. See all conference outcomes in the event report.

/// EU FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES ///

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.

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.

CEDEFOP ReferNet call for proposals – Greece and Romania
The call aims to complete the current European network for VET – ReferNet – by selecting one applicant from Greece and one from Romania with which Cedefop will conclude an eighteen-month framework partnership agreement and conclude, with the successful applicants, specific grant agreements for a work plan to be carried out in 2014. Deadline for submission of proposals: 16 May 2014.

Call for proposals – Erasmus+ Key Activity 3 “Prospective initiatives”
The Commission has released a call for proposals on “Prospective initiatives: European policy experimentation“. The general objective of the call for proposals is to encourage the assessment of the systemic impact of innovative policy measures through field trials in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of education and training systems and youth policies. Applicants can be public authorities, public or private organisations active in the field of education and training or youth, or carrying related activities. Deadline 20 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”. EUCIS-LLL is currently preparing a feedback  to the consultation. Deadline for input: 15 April 2014.