Brussels/Strasbourg, 20 November 2012 Press Release
The recommendations outlined in Rethinking Education are based on the findings of the 2012 'Education and Training Monitor', a new annual Commission survey which outlines skills supply in the Member States.
Androulla Vassiliou,@VassiliouEU, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "Rethinking education is not just of question of money: whilst it is true that we need to invest more in education and training, it is clear that education systems also need to modernise and be more flexible in how they operate to respond to the real needs of today's society. Europe will only resume sustained growth by producing highly skilled and versatile people who can contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship. Efficient and well-targeted investment is fundamental to this, but we will not achieve our objectives by reducing education budgets."
Rethinking Education calls for a fundamental shift in education, with more focus on 'learning outcomes' - the knowledge, skills and competences that students acquire. Merely having spent time in education is no longer sufficient....
Rethinking Education in brief:
- There needs to be a much stronger focus on developing transversal skills and basic skills at all levels. This applies especially to entrepreneurial and IT skills.
- A new benchmark on foreign language learning: by 2020, at least 50% of 15 year olds should have knowledge of a first foreign language (up from 42% today) and at least 75% should study a second foreign language (61% today).
- Investment is needed to build world-class vocational education and training systems and increase levels of work-based learning.
- Member States need to improve the recognition of qualifications and skills, including those gained outside of the formal education and training system.
- Technology, in particular the internet, must be fully exploited. Schools, universities and vocational and training institutions must increase access to education via open educational resources.
- These reforms must be supported by well-trained, motivated and entrepreneurial teachers.
- Funding needs to be targeted to maximise the return on investment. Debate at both national and EU level is needed on funding for education - especially in vocational education and higher education.
- A partnership approach is critical. Both public and private funding is necessary to boost innovation and increase cross-fertilisation between academia and business.
Erasmus for All, the Commission's proposed €19 billion programme for education, training, youth and sport, would aim to double the number of individuals receiving grants for skills-enhancing opportunities for study, training and volunteering abroad, to 5 million people in 2014-2020. More than two-thirds of the programme's budget would support individual learning mobility of this kind, with the remainder allocated to projects focused on cooperation for innovation, policy reform and sharing good practices..