EUCIS-LLL calls MEPs to support an intergroup on lifelong learning in the Parliament
EUCIS-LLL believes that we need an intergroup on Comprehensive Lifelong Learning in the European Parliament. We need a vision and the political commitment to ensure our education and training systems deliver better for economic development, social and civic participation, personal fulfilment and well-being. Tackling the need to improve learning and employment prospects of our citizens and to move towards a general up-skilling of our population requires new coordination mechanisms to connect policies and players in the various sectors (health, youth, employment, social affairs, culture etc). This is why an intergroup on lifelong learning is so important in terms of coordination, efficiency and participation as well as to ensure the strategic political involvement of the European Parliament in these debates. The initiative is led by EUCIS-LLL in partnership with the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) and with MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, Finland) and supported by MEPs from almost all political groups. EUCIS-LLL is now inviting MEPs to support the intergroup by signing its call and civil society organisations to spread the word!EUCIS-LLL participated in the “Lifelong Learning Hub” partner meeting, Lisbon, 2-4 October 2014
The LLL-HUB is a project funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme coordinated by EUCIS-LLL that brings together 10 partners from Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, Bulgaria, Belgium and Poland, representing public authorities, civil society organisations, chambers of commerce and educational institutions. During their 2nd partner meeting experts from Portugal shared their perspective on lifelong learning and stressed that in Portugal low-skilled citizens still represent a large proportion of the population. Governments have developed many tools such as VET offers and the validation RVCC system to face this challenge but encouraging learners to take up learning is still a challenge. Partners agreed on the need to look at the motivation to take up learning as a key element in their research phase; many citizens still do so see the added value of validation for example. The partners will now implement the LLL-Labs where they work with various actors in order to identify gaps between the EU frameworks in place and the reality on the ground: what are the concrete obstacles facing learners, educators and decision-makers alike in making lifelong learning a reality for all.“Building Learning Societies”: for the promotion of validation of non-formal and informal learning
EUCIS-LLL task force on the validation of non-formal and informal learning met yesterday to discuss recent EU developments such as the upcoming European Guidelines and Inventory. Members took stock of the implementation of the EU Recommendation on validation. In the afternoon La Ligue and SOLIDAR “Building Learning Societies” project in which EUCIS-LLL is a partner were presented. This includes a Guidebook on the promotion of validation at the EU and national level with many case studies and view points from experts, practitioners and decision-makers. David Lopez, EUCIS-LLL President, participated in a panel discussion during which he stressed that the success in reaching the 2018 deadline will depend on the political will of our governments. What is important for us is that validation becomes an individual right which means that arrangements should be developed in a comprehensive way across sectors as we tend to focus on VET. He reminded that reaching out to disadvantaged groups is still a challenge while educational institutions shall be prepared and encouraged to implement validation and deal with non-traditional publics. Last but not least, it is important to stress again and again that education is not a cost but an investment; validation is a powerful tool to up-skill and empower learners especially the low-skilled.

/// NEWS FROM MEMBERS AND PARTNERS ///

EAPRIL 2014 Conference // Nicosia, Cyprus, 25-28 November 2014

EAPRIL connects research and practice by creating a platform by which people are brought together to share their research projects on education, learning and instruction and their specific practice cases. A broad variety of topics is covered, e.g. teacher education, educators’ professional development, ICT/Media & Learning, instructional strategies & learning environments, assessment, workplace learning, curricular development etc. Check the 2014 Conference programme and register on their website before 16 October in order to benefit from early bird registration fees.

EDEN Challenges for Research into Open & Distance Learning – research workshop // Oxford, UK, 27-28 October 2014
The 8th EDEN research workshop programme reflects upon the current complex challenges facing researchers and the intersection of their work with ‘doing better things’ for key stakeholders. This includes informal learners, formal learners, teacher, leaders, funders and policy makers especially where new learning technologies play an important role. Two challenge areas have been identified that will shape the workshop: challenges for open and distance learning in the 21stcentury and challenges in undertaking research and research impact. You can find more information about the workshop, the programme and registration on their website.

IAEC International Congress An educating city is an inclusive city // Barcelona, 13-15 November 2014
Through lectures, presentations of experiences, Mayors’ and experts’ roundtables, and study tours, the Congress of the IAEC will deal with the role of education, in the broadest sense of the term, as an essential instrument for social inclusion, fostering personal and collective development and the improvement of social coexistence and solidarity. Knowledge and education are the foundations to development and social inclusion in our society. That is why the theme of the congress is An Educating City is an Inclusive City. More about the programme and registration can be found on the website of the Congress.

2014 EQAF Forum Changing education – QA and the shift from teaching to learning // Barcelona, 13-15 November 2014
The main purpose of the Forum is to foster a dialogue on quality assurance (QA) that bridges national boundaries and leads to a truly European discussion on QA in higher education, and to create a common European understanding of QA through discussions and networking among different stakeholder groups. The 9th European Quality Assurance Forum, co-organised by ENQA, ESU, EUA and EURASHE, will take place at the University of Barcelona, Spain, on 13-15 November 2014. Through a mix of plenary and parallel sessions, the 2014 EQAF, entitled “Changing education – QA and the shift from teaching to learning”, will combine practice-oriented or research-based discussions that will take place in the paper sessions and workshops with presentations of current developments in quality assurance.

Business world mentoring in education – An asset to society conference – Brussels, 27 October 2014
On behalf of the Supreme team, EfVET invites you to the final event “Business world mentoring in education – An asset to society” on 27 October at 14.00 pm at Neth-ER office (rue d’Arlon 22, Brussels). The programme is a combination of several activities, involving project participants, special guests, VIPs from participating countries of the project, as well as EU representatives interested and involved in the topic. The conference is geared at sharing the project’s results, and it is also a start of a EU mentoring network that binds education, corporate world and government. Participation is free of charge, but registration is required by 22 October by sending an email to mentorprogrammafriesland@fcroc.nl.

/// INSTITUTIONAL NEWS ///

European Parliament congratulates 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureates
In the name of the Parliament, President Schulz states that he is particularly proud that the 2013 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought laureate, Malala Yousafzai, gets her fight for girls’ fair access to education acknowledged at the level of the Nobel Peace Prize. He also adds that the European Parliament will always be at her side to champion her fight and that education for all children is key to a sustainable peace. You can find the press release on the website of the Parliament. EUCIS-LLL welcomes this decision; we do believe that education is a key to improve the lives of citizens around the globe and should be considered as a long-term and sustainable investment instead of being seen as a cost.

Erasmus+ Programme Guide and Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support
The new Erasmus+ Programme Guide has been published. It provides detailed information on the 2015 Erasmus+ Call for Proposals. It is designed to provide organisations applying to the programme with information on the priorities of the programme, the actions supported, the funding available for different actions and detailed information on participation. For actions managed by the EACEA, there is an overview of the indicative funding available and approximate number of projects expected to be funded per action. Moreover, the Online Linguistic Support is a new opportunity for Erasmus+ participants to assess and improve their language skills. It was presented for the first time at the European Day of Languages conference in Florence. In 2014, the service will benefit all higher education students going on mobility and young volunteers undertaking EVS. As from 2015, it will be extended to VET learners.

Teachers’ salaries increased in 16 European countries in 2013/2014: is it enough to face shortages?
In 2013/2014, teachers saw their salaries increase in 16 European countries (BE, DK, DE, EE, FR, HR, LU, HU, MT, AT, SK, FI, UK, NO, MK, TR) compared with the previous school year, according to a Eurydice report carried out for the European Commission. The rises were chiefly due to salary reforms and adjustments to the cost of living. The survey covers teachers and school heads at pre-primary, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary level. In about half of the 33 European countries featured in the report, teachers’ purchasing power in 2014 is still below the 2009 level. Many countries in Europe are facing shortages of teachers and looking at their working conditions is strategic for the performance and modernisation of our education and training systems.European Ombudsman launches public consultation in relation to the transparency of the TTIP negotiations
On 29 July 2014, the European Ombudsman opened an own-initiative inquiry towards the European Commission concerning transparency and public participation in relation to the TTIP negotiations. The present public consultation concerns that inquiry. The outcome of the TTIP negotiations could have a significant impact on the lives of citizens. The aim of the Ombudsman’s inquiry is to help ensure that the public can follow the progress of these talks and contribute to shaping their outcome. It will be possible to take your comments into account if they are submitted by 31 October 2014. More information about how to contribute to the public consultations can be found on the website of the European Ombudsman.

/// RESEARCH & INNOVATION ///

Portfolio for youth leaders and youth workers
The European Portfolio for youth leaders and youth workers is an initiative of the Council of Europe in cooperation with experts and partners such as the European Commission and the European Youth Forum. It provides youth leaders and youth workers in Europe, volunteers or professionals, with a tool which can help them identify, assess and describe their competencies based on European quality standards. In using the portfolio, youth leaders and youth workers can contribute to the recognition of their experience and skills and to efforts to increase the recognition of youth work and non-formal education and learning. The portfolio has been tested in a number of countries and has been designed to enable users to make adaptations if necessary – for instance, by adding competences specific to their area of work. Related to this, there will be a seminar on the recognition of the youth leaders and youth workers and launching of the European youth work Portfolio in Strasbourg on 19-21 November 2014 in Strasbourg, France. Deadline to apply is 19 October 2014.

The Missing Piece of the Puzzle: Promote Non-Formal and Informal Learning as a driver for Human Development – SOLIDAR Briefing Paper

SOLIDAR participates at the European Commission staff working document consultation on Human Development and in that framework launches the briefing paper #67 “The Missing Piece Of The Puzzle: Non-Formal and Informal Learning as a Driver for Human Development and Social Justice” that provides the following key recommendations: including NFIL as a driver for change in all post-2015 MDG discussions, strengthening NFIL methodologies in development to empower vulnerable people and workers in precarious employment, recognising NFIL within active labour market policies in development and ensuring the inclusion of NFIL within the National Social Protection Floor’s essential social security guarantees.

New guiding principles and policy handbook on professional development of trainers in VET
The guiding principles are a contribution of the European Commission, Cedefop and the thematic working group on professional development of trainers in VET to the objective set in the Bruges communiqué of collecting good practice and developing guiding principles on changing roles, competences and professional development of VET teachers and trainers (Council of the European Union; European Commission, 2010). The guiding principles give policy pointers on how to support VET trainers in companies in developing their competences. They are addressed to education and training policy- and decision-makers, illustrated by concrete examples of practice from Member States. These can be further translated into actions for all stakeholders, depending on national situations and contexts. Check also the Cedefop’s policy handbook Access to and participation in continuous vocational education and training (CVET) in Europe.