All posts by Andrea Lapegna

NEW – LLLP Reaction on the Council Recommendations on Learning for the Green Transition

Last June, the Council approved two key Recommendations in the framework of the European Education Area and the Skills Agenda: the Recommendations on learning for the green transition and sustainable development and the Recommendation on ensuring a fair transition towards climate neutrality. It is reassuring to see the two Recommendations being released together as they form two important pillars in the much needed changes in all education and training systems covering the lifelong learning continuum. 

At the Lifelong Learning Platform, ‘we welcome the call to support learners of all ages to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to live sustainably, change patterns of consumption and production, embrace healthier lifestyles and contribute – both individually and collectively – to societal transformation’. It is reassuring to see the explicit recognition in the Commission’s proposal of applying a ‘lifelong learning approach to learning for environmental sustainability.

At the same time, conscious that the implementation will be as important as the Recommendations themselves, we expect to concretely see integration in policymaking via the European Semester, which must ensure regular formal exchanges with civil society and other stakeholders in the drafting of the Country Specific Recommendations.

Read the full reaction here

The LLLWeek 2022 is here! Register now

The 12th edition of the Lifelong Learning Week will take place in Brussels on 28 November – 2 December 2022. A milestone event in the education & training sector, the LLLWeek 2022 will be hosted by MEP Milan Zver, member of the CULT Committee of the European Parliament.

Drawing from the latest developments in European policy, we framed the LLLWeek around the topic “Investment in Education and Training: A Public Good for All”. The goal is to reflect upon the decreasing efforts by EU Member States in financing public, non-commercial education systems that value all learning environments.

Through 17 different in-person workshop (and more internal meetings), the Lifelong Learning Platform hopes to deliver an engaging week that explores all the facets of this topic. Some highlights? The launch event on Monday, 28 November, as well as the meeting of the Lifelong Learning Interest Group on Tuesday, November 29th. Explore all events and register for as many as you want!

NEW – LLLP Review of Lifelong Learning Terminology

Since its establishment, the Lifelong Learning Platform promotes a holistic approach to education that best fits a modernised society where learning happens in different environments being them formal, non-formal and informal but it also is a continuous and never-ending process. This multidimensionality of lifelong learning and holistic approach to education emphasises the need to break down silos, fostering cross-sector cooperation to address cross-cutting issues, synergies between different policies and strategies, common grounds of understanding and regular dialogue between education stakeholders.

The historical development of the concept of lifelong learning across Europe and the world shows how it is related to the global narrative promoted by international organisations (UN, UNESCO). LLLP has endorsed and promotes what is also UNESCO’s view on education as a universal and lifelong concept as well as the European Commission’s view.

Today, we observe that lifelong learning has become increasingly important on the global agenda as an organising principle of education. The latest policy initiatives of the UN and EU confirm this trend, embedding this concept in all policy and programmating documents. And yet, today, there is no such things as a European nor an international glossary that best defines the holistic approach to education embracing a lifelong learning culture.

Today, this changes. With our latest publication, we present commonly agreed definitions, words, abbreviations, acronyms, used frequently in written work, giving terms contextual meaning. The contextual meaning is an important value as the glossary aims to reflect the different use of the same term, as well as its different inclinations. This Glossary does not seek to provide universal definitions to the different terminologies used in the field, neither to be replacing any existing formal education dictionary. But it pays a common ground to understand the contexts in which lifelong learning, education and training take place.

Check it out here

LLLP Statement – Pathways to School Success

The Communication on Achieving the European Education Area by 2025 foresaw the adoption of a recommendation to repeal the 2011 Council Recommendation on policies to reduce early school leaving. Based on the 2011 Recommendation’s assessment, its implementation contributed to a decrease in the rate of early leavers from education and training (ELET) at EU level (from 13.4% in 2011 to 9.7% in 2021), and encouraged changes within educational institutions and policies. To continue, the Commission has published a new Proposal on “Pathways to School Success”, accompanied by an annex proposing a framework for action, see here, and its infographic here. The Proposal is foreseen to be adopted during the Czech Presidency’s Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting (27-28 November).

LLLP is pleased with the Proposal’s potential considering the forward-looking language employed and the diverse approach it encourages for teaching, learning, funding, collaborating and co-creating. The current state of learners’ participation in education and training, compounded by the ever-increasing amount of crises which require transversal competences, makes it urgent to make this Proposal a reality. For this reason, the ambitious solutions suggested in the Policy Framework annexed to the Proposal require a more comprehensive guidance if Member States are to be supported in exacting real change. What does it mean to have a system for early identification of developmental problems? What does the promotion of pedagogical approaches that are interactive and experiential actually entail? How can a curriculum become more learner-centred? Which working conditions of educators need to be improved and how? For all these questions, there is a need to provide more support to Member States. Thus, this statement is associated with an annex of its own.

Read the full statement here

EDUtech Europe 2022 is here

Technology is changing how we learn, what we learn and where we learn. Accelerated by the pandemic; schools, universities and educators around the world are actively engaged in seeking ideas, inspiration and solutions. On 5-6 October 2022 EDUtech is coming to Europe. Leading minds in education from across Europe will be presenting stories, showcasing innovation and inspiring educators across the region. Plus, the very best EdTech solution providers will be demonstrating the latest technology innovations that are changing the way education is delivered.

Join us and accelerate a change in education across Europe.

SOTEU 2022: The 2023 European Year of Skills must be geared towards learning

On 14 September, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, addressed the European Parliament during their Plenary Session for the customary, annual, State of the European Union (SOTEU) Address. SOTEU 2022 emerges in the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In the presence of Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska, Ursula von der Leyen reiterated the support and solidarity that the EU will show towards Ukraine in these historical challenges that threaten Europe’s democratic values. In this context, SOTEU 2022 recognised the importance of Ukrainian young learners in times where they were deprived from their education.

The European Commission is also preparing a Communication to propose changes to the EU fiscal rules. Some of it might go in the same direction as LLLP’s current campaign on Public Investment in Quality Education and Training. It remains to be seen if these are ready to make public investment in education and training more flexible.

Education and training was further referenced in SOTEU 2022 which addressed how the pandemic recovery, the digitalization process, the climate crisis response and the fight against attacks on European values require education and training. In this context, Ursula von der Leyen has announced 2023 as the European Year of Skills. The attention placed on the validation and recognition of prior qualifications is laudable, as well as on the support provided to European learners to adapt to the current crisis. However, SOTEU 2022 reveals a danger of conflating learning, and the adaptation to fight any challenge of our current times, to labour market participation. The European Year of Skills was announced on the backdrop of the recognition that EU unfilled job vacancies are at a record high and of the requirement for learners to adapt to labour market needs. This misguided approach to learning is inconsistent to President von der Leyen’s pleas in SOTEU 2022 for changing the paradigm when thinking about the climate crisis, the promotion of democracy, the crisis recovery and the realisation of the social market. The meaningful engagement of education and training stakeholders in the European Year of Skills is the only way forward and LLLP looks forward to actively participating in the process, as this can ensure that any initiative will be learner-centred and attuned to the needs of the learners rather than those of the labour market.

LLLP looks forward to work in the framework of the European Year of Skills given how crucial skills development is, but will continue promoting a lifelong and life-wide learning approach that goes beyond the labour market and aims to holistically develop learners, supporting them in reaching self-fulfilment and becoming active participants in society, especially as learning must be based on the needs of the learners.

New Study: Public investment on education and training in the EU: trends, challenges and future prospects

The Lifelong Learning Platform is proud to publish its study for the ongoing campaign on “Invest in ET”.

While the value of quality education and training is strongly acknowledged across EU Member States, it remains the case that public expenditure has failed to recover to pre-financial crisis levels at the EU level. This paper tracks the extent to which public expenditure on education and training has changed over time and puts forth the case for a marked increase in levels of public expenditure as a necessary policy tool for addressing the economic and social fallout of Covid-19.

Check it out here.

Register to the LLLAB 2022 – Lifelong learning entitlements for the future of Europe

For its 2022 edition, and under the patronage of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, LLLP will bring this laboratory to Nice, France where we will be discussing “Lifelong learning entitlements for the future of Europe”. Save the date for 30-31 May, where education stakeholders from European and French contexts will come together to stir the new generation of cooperation in education and training.

Register here

How can we promote EU cooperation in education, training and lifelong learning in national contexts? How can we plant the seed for the creation of a national lifelong learning platform in order to build bridges between sectors?

The Lifelong Learning Platform is delighted to present its pilot activity, the Lifelong Learning Lab – National Training for Education Stakeholders. With this format, LLLP seeks to keep the momentum of EU cooperation to assess EU citizens’ capacity to participate in policy-making, suggest solutions and break silos in the education sectors. Further to this, and following the policy recommendation in its Feasibility study, LLLP would also like to explore the possibilities for national lifelong learning platforms.

The goals will be pursued through a two-day event during which LLLP will take participants through a wide range of topics, spacing from EU cooperation in education and training, to EU decision-making processes, and from civil society engagement to national contexts.

Register here

CEV – European Year of Volunteers 2025

Add your support now to declare 2025 the European Year of Volunteers. Only 500 endorsements are needed to make this idea top of the group! Success would be a fitting tribute to the efforts and impact of volunteers during the COVID19 and Ukraine refugee crisis. The European Year of Volunteers 2025 will shine the spotlight on the essential collective actions of volunteers leading to increased health and well being in Europe and provide a suitable framework to better celebrate and reinforce positive recognition of volunteers in Europe. Connect on the #COFOE platform and endorse this idea here.