All posts by Audrey

EUCIS-LLL Secretariat participates in a training on the use of ICT in education, Zagreb, 18-23 May

digitalEUCIS-LLL Secretariat represented by its director Audrey Frith and policy officer Alen Maletic participated in a training session on “Learning theories and their implication for practioners and designers of e-learning material: all you need to know to create quality digital learning materials”, 18-23 May 2015 in Zagreb Croatia. This action was supported by a learning mobility project (Erasmus+, Key Activity 1, AEF).

EUCIS-LLL press release: Volunteers: towards a better recognition of their contribution to build a fairer society

Volunteering plays an indispensable and capital role in lifelong learning. In education and training, volunteers are young people, parents, learners or educators of all ages committed to improve education and training systems. Volunteers develop personal, social and civic competences that are seldom recognised by educational institutions and companies. Volunteers need to be supported if they express the wish to have the knowledge and skills acquired through volunteering recognised and validated. In terms of implementation, the European guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning already offer prospective solutions. Other tools are being developed notably in the youth sector that ought to be better shared and known across Europe and across sectors. The development of portfolios for example can help volunteers being aware of their learning outcomes especially if they come with proper guidance. This process can boost volunteers´ motivation and self esteem as well as their employability.

The value of volunteering is an expression of active citizenship that enriches democracy and contributes to develop solidarity and social cohesion, a value which is not only in great need in the current economic and social climate, but also one upon which the European Union has been built. Moreover, volunteering contributes to develop a sense of common identity and mutual understanding. Volunteering is freely given, but not cost free – it needs and deserves targeted support from all stakeholders – volunteer organisations, government at all levels, businesses and an enabling policy environment including a volunteering infrastructures[1]. EUCIS-LLL has made proposals to create a supportive environment for volunteering such as the provision of European active citizenship education at all levels of our education systems, better recognition of the skills acquired through volunteering and the recognition of volunteers’ involvement in EU and national projects. The EU should capitalize on the outputs of the European Year 2011 on Volunteering and on the European Year of Citizens 2013 to impulse better recognition, promotion and facilitation of volunteering in order to realise its full potential.

Let us honour and celebrate today the role played by thousands of volunteers across the world!

See and share the press release!

 

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Bertelsmann Stiftung Study Launch “Learning from the best”

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Thu 11 December, 14:00-16:00 // University Foundation, Rue d’Egmont 11 (Metro Trone), Brussels

The seminar is organised by the Bertelsmann Stiftung in partnership with EUCIS-LLL in order to present the results of the foundation’s study on transferable elements from various validation systems in Europe. The visualization and acknowledgement of informally and non-formally acquired competencies is very important on an individual level to empower and engage citizens for a path to Lifelong Learning. Especially since the general trend towards higher qualifications is reducing the opportunities for professional and social advancement for those with low formal qualifications. But validation is also crucial in economic terms in view of the foreseeable lack of skilled workers in some European countries due to demographic change. Therefore we need regulations and procedures for capturing and recognizing the results of informal and non-formal learning processes. National recognition systems for informal and non-formal learning cannot be transferred in full to other countries due to the country-specific conditions of the education and training systems. Thus we will look at individual core elements of a validation system. These are: legal framework, procedures and instruments, financial structures, institutionalisation and support structures. Experts from European countries will report on the main concepts, legal regulations, how recognition works in practice and in how far these processes benefit people with low formal qualifications.


Agenda *

14:00 Welcome words

  • MEP Tamás MESZERICS (Greens/EFA, Hungary)
  • Dr. Martin Noack, Senior Project Manager, Bertelsmann Stiftung (Gütersloh, Germany)

14:10 Introduction to the study

  • Prof. Dr. Eckart SEVERING, Director of the f-bb Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (Nuremberg, Germany)

14:20 Best Practice presentations and discussion

  • France – Janet LOONEY, Director of the European Institute of Education and Social Policy (EIESP) (Paris, France)
  • Austria, Switzerland – Prof. Dr. Nicolas SCHÖPF, University of Applied Labour Studies (Mannheim, Germany)
  • United Kingdom – Dr. Andrew McCOSHAN, ECVET expert UK and consultant (Brierley Hill, UK)
  • Denmark – Matthias HAABER, Center for the Development and Content of Vocational Upper Secondary and Adult Education and Training, Danish Ministry of Education (Copenhagen, Denmark)

15:50 Transfer criteria and conclusion

  • Prof. Dr. Eckart SEVERING, f-bb Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (Nuremberg, Germany)

 

The event was following the EUCIS-LLL Policy Debate “Validation of non-formal and informal learning: All aboard! How to reach the targeted public?” from 09:30 to 13:00.

EUCIS-LLL Seminar – Launch of the flagship initiative on ‘Inclusive Education. Fighting inequalities in education and training’

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Wed 10 December, 09:30-12:30 // University Foundation, Rue d’Egmont 11 (Metro Trone), Brussels

The social dimension of lifelong learning has been neglected in the 1st cycle of the Europe 2020 and ET2020 strategies. Learning is powerful in getting people more engaged in society in its economic, political and social dimensions. Providing high quality learning opportunities to all and especially to the most disadvantaged is crucial not only for our ageing workforce to cope with ever more competitive and changing labour markets, but also to be more socially included and have better living conditions. Inequalities persist in European education and training systems where vulnerable groups such as migrants are particularly disadvantaged.  As European history shows, rising inequalities go hand in hand with rising nationalism and discrimination. EUCIS-LLL firmly believes that we should refocus EU cooperation on equity, democracy and social cohesion. Let us re-engage to deliver the vision of a social Europe with high levels of quality education in respect of Article 9 of the Treaty. The EU has undertaken a series of actions to answer some of these challenges including the Youth Guarantee, cooperation on early-school leaving, Social Investment Package, Social dimension of the Bologna Process and the Roma Initiative. However we miss a coherent strategy heading those measures towards clear goals and national/regional roadmaps and a strong political will. The seminar is meant to bring people together to discuss what this strategy could look like within the Europe 2020 Strategy.


Agenda

Opening session

  • Welcome words from Daniele DI MITRI, EUCIS-LLL Vice-President
  • Opening by MEP Julie WARD, UK, S&D

Presentation

  • Paul DOWNES, Director at Educational Disadvantage Centre, Senior Lecturer in Education (Psychology) at St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University – ‘Access to Education in Europe: A Framework and Agenda for System Change– see presentation

Panel discussion

  • MEP Brando BENIFEI (S&D, IT)
  • Gina EBNER, Secretary General of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) on “Outreach, Empowerment and Diversity” (OED)
  • Thomas HUDDLESTON, Programme Director Migration and Integration, Migration Policy Group, “A Clear Agenda for Migrant Education in Europe”
  • Giuseppina TUCCI, Board member of OBESSU, campaign “Education, we have a problem” – see the presentation

Group discussions

Conclusions

Contribution to the Education, Training and Youth Forum 2014

The third Education, Training and Youth Forum took place on 9-10 October. The 2014 Forum entitled “Future priorities of the 2020 Strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020)”, aims to bring together various stakeholders in order to discuss relevant key policy developments. The mid-term review of ET2020 is of particular importance, as EU institutions are setting new political priorities. The Forum also aims to help identifying concrete policy areas for the next ET2020 work cycle (2015-2017) and to serve the sharpening of ET2020 Strategic Framework’s contribution to the EU’s overall growth and jobs strategy. In the wake of the Forum, EUCIS-LLL underlines key messages from civil society for the future of learning in Europe. David Lopez, EUCIS-LLL President, participated in a Panel discussion on stakeholders’ involvement. He stressed EUCIS-LLL positions on the ET2020 Review.

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  • Part two: Messages to the new Commissioner for Education, Training and Sport

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  • Part three: Contribution and role of civil society organisations and of the Forum

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Calling MEPs to support an intergroup on lifelong learning in the Parliament

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EUCIS-LLL believes that we need an intergroup on Comprehensive Lifelong Learning within 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. Today it is reported that some 80 million EU citizens will need to update their skills and qualifications to enable them to improve their employment prospects – while participation of adults in lifelong learning has been stagnating for many years and 20% of the EU working age population has low literacy and numeracy skills, reducing by half their chances to be employed but also to access basic welfare services, participate in democratic and associative life or develop a sense of social cohesion. Tackling this situation requires new coordination mechanisms to connect policies and players in the various sectors (health, youth, employment, social affairs, culture, etc.).

Setting up an intergroup on lifelong learning represents a great opportunity to tackle these challenges for the future of Europe in a comprehensive and participative way. Policy-makers and grassroots stakeholders have repeatedly acknowledged that achieving comprehensive and coherent lifelong learning strategies will only be possible if actors and sectors do not work in silos. 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 European complex and interlinked processes in education, training and lifelong learning. This initiative is led by EUCIS-LLL in partnership with the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) and with MEP Pietikäinen (EPP, Finland) and supported by MEPs from almost all political groups.

Indeed this Intergroup would be the opportunity to foster a sustainable and fruitful cooperation between MEPs and civil society in the field of lifelong learning that has a precious expertise and experience to offer to future MEPs in order to mainstream lifelong learning issues in several areas of the Parliament’s everyday work. The Intergroup could work on transversal topics as various as European democratic and citizenship education, fighting discriminations and promoting lifelong learning as a fundamental right, lifelong learning in the Social Investment Package or the European Social Fund, making the knowledge triangle work, gender equality in lifelong learning, development education, environmental education, etc.

If you are interested in being part of an Intergroup on Lifelong Learning:

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If you are an MEP, please sign our call!

If you are supporing our initiative: ask your MEPs to sign our call now!

Read our full rationale on a Lifelong Learning Intergroup and our infonote on What is an intergroup? in the European Parliament.

EUCIS-LLL is recruiting

EUCIS-LLL is recruiting 3 full time positions for the next 3 months: we are looking for a project officer, a policy officer and an event and communication officer. Check the details of each position is the documents attached.

– Advert for a Policy Officer, lifelong learning

– Advert for an Events and Communications Officer

– Advert for a Project Officer

Deadline to apply is 14th September. Interviews are planned in the week that follows.

EUCIS-LLL Activity Report 2013: now available!

eucis-lll-activity-reportEUCIS-LLL has just published its 2013 Activity Report. This version has been reviewed in order to provide a thematic and political overview of our actions during 2013.

Did you know that in 2013, EUCIS-LLL has managed to preserve European civil society organisations structural funding under the new Erasmus+ programme? That we have set up a task force composed of some of the best experts in validation of non-formal and informal learning? That we have given our members great visibility in the heart of the European Parliament thanks our Lifelong Learning Week and made them meet high-level EU institutions representatives to defend our vision of education and training?

Discover what we did:

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– Standing up for better EU programmes

– Capacity-building and peer-learning 

– Rethinking Learning

– Raising awareness on Lifelong Learning

– Promoting active citizenship 

– Participating in civil dialogue

Download the Activity Report /// Read it on issuu.

Policy Debate on Measuring progress in lifelong learning: General Report available!

cover-eucis-lll-reportEUCIS-LLL organised an international seminar on “Measuring progress in Lifelong Learning” on 5 December in the framework of its Lifelong Learning Week. The EU has set ambitious goals for lifelong learning as a vector for growth, competitiveness and jobs, but are those really a progress? Empirical evidence has shown that correlating education and growth can be hazardous, especially if only education quantity (attainment levels) is measured rather than quality (learning outcomes). European citizens live dismal times of crisis and the debate on renewed prosperity, social cohesion and well-being has never been that vivid. This leads to reflect on what is quality lifelong learning, that is often perceived as improving learning settings (better infrastructures, more qualified teachers) rather than improving learning as such, which is by far more challenging. This seminar was about rethinking progress measurement in lifelong learning in a partnership approach, as citizens’ voice should count in defining what is advanced education and how to make it happen. Check  EUCIS-LLL General Report.

 

EUCIS-LLL contribution to the European Area of Skills and Qualifications

Following the public consultation issued by the European Commission on a European Area of Skills and Qualifications, EUCIS-LLL has produced an input after having led a broad internal consultation within its membership. EUCIS-LLL highlighted all along its contribution that the essential priority to concretise a European Area of Skills and Qualifications is to achieve coherence in the terminology used to reach a true learning outcomes approach. For instance why do we speak of a “European Area of Skills and Qualifications” instead of a “European area of lifelong learning” as most of the initiatives under scrutiny have been developed under this overarching goal. EUCIS-LLL stressed the need for a more coherent political approach translated at implementation level by the creation of more bridges and complementarities between the various recognition and transparency tools. EUCIS-LLL wishes to underline that no coherence and comprehensiveness in policy-making or implementing measures can be achieved without a broad support of the education community as a whole.