The 8th edition of the Lifelong Learning Week took place in the European Parliament on 3-7 December 2018. It was a dense week of debates, discussions and reflections upon the LLLP’s theme of the year: Lifelong Learning Culture: A partnership for rethinking education.
The week kicked-off with a lively LLL Civil Society Forum in the splendid Fondation Universitaire. Civil society organisations active in education and training debated their own role vis-à-vis the latest EU policy, and their contribution to its development in the European Union. A joyful Reception concluded the evening, with the celebration of the LLLAwards winners’ outstanding practices (click here to meet them!).
On Tuesday, the Lifelong Learning Interest Group of the European Parliament welcomed EC Vice-President Jyrki Katainen as special guest. He address the way the MFF is set to fund education and reinforced the concept that the European Commission is committed to raising the funding and the standards of education in Europe, especially by investing in human capitals. MEP Jill Evans and MEP Emilian Pavel further built on this consideration to highlight the special role of European funding and programmes in the next MFF to tackle the most pressing issues in education and training (mobility, inclusion, employment, research, etc.).
Events followed closely and at fast pace. On the same day, the Quality of Childhood Working Group of the European Parliament met to discuss the teaching methods of Janusz Korczak. After this, the role of formal education systems to foster active citizenship and culture in the classroom was debated. Participants agreed that more should be done in this regards to exploit schools and universities’ potential and help foster European values in the classroom and in higher education.
The LLLPlatform is committed to give voice to all education actors and all learning environments: which is why on Wednesday, with WOSM and AEGEE, we debated the ways active citizenship is built in non-formal education environments. Initiatives addressed to youth were presented, and participants agreed that the next Erasmus+ should privilege mobility experiences as they prove to build the European spirit.
A dense Thursday explored firstly the contribution of education and lifelong learning to consumer education”. Stemming from a European Commission’s project Consumer Classroom, the LLLWeek showed how different actors – development organisations, students, teachers – can come together and help our society shape the conscious consumer of tomorrow. Even in such diverse subjects, a lifelong learning approach is capital to the achievement of EU’s objectives.
The LLLWeek went on to debate language learning and mobility programmes, and reaffirmed the importance of integrating formal education with non-formal and informal methods of learning when it comes to languages.
These aspects also come together in volunteering. The social impact of exchange students is still low, due to difficulties to identify oneself in the local community. But because of this, LLLP’s project Comanity suggested to introduce a new professional figure in the volunteering world: evidence shows that social inclusion cannot do without volunteering (more info here).
The topic of mobility periods abroad was also addressed in the final event of Summer University: the iconic AEGEE’s project celebrates its 30th anniversary, and has chosen the LLLWeek for its debate on short-mobility periods!
On the last day of the week, participants came together to discuss one of the most pressing issues in the employment world: career guidance. Is it possible to ensure guidance to all EU citizens? How can we adapt to the changing types of jobs? What does a career mean today? The answer lies in the development of sustainable skills, a (lifelong) learning approach to our own jobs, and the cooperation between different actors and stakeholders: from public to private to social partners and non-governmental organisations.
A big shout out to all the organisers and all the participants for making the 8th edition of the LLLWeek a truly successful one!