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European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning - EUCIS-LLL
Newsletter #65 - September 2013

/// EUCIS-LLL NEWS ///
 
ConnectEuranet: EUCIS-LLL Vice-President on air with Commissioner Vassiliou
Etelberto Costa, EUCIS-LLL board member, debated on 23 September on the new Erasmus+ Programme with Commissioner Vassiliou, CULT Committee Vice-President MEP M. Løkkegaard (ALDE) and higher education practitioners. The debate took place in the framework of the ConnectEuranet project, aimed to raise awareness of the Commission’s initiatives and programme to a wide audience and to young people in particular. Commissioner Vassiliou expressed her wish to focus the new programme on social inclusion, as there are 7 million European NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) in need nowadays. Along with MEP Løkkegaard, she also insisted on the foreseen simplification of the programme. Etelberto highlighted among other elements the importance of partnerships to deliver the vision for the next seven years and the need for a better social recognition of non-formal and informal learning.
 
EUCIS-LLL online consultation - 2013 European Education, Training and Youth Forum
The 2013 Education, Training and Youth Forum organised by the European Commission, which will take place on 17-18 October in Brussels, will promote the idea of “Working together for Reforms” emphasising the need for policy makers and key stakeholders to work in partnership, in order to foster the successful implementation of reforms at national and regional level, in particular through the opportunities offered by the new “Erasmus+” programme. To prepare an open and rich discussion at the Forum, all stakeholders are called upon to take part in the online consultation set up by EUCIS-LLL and make their voice heard. Read our infonote and take part in the survey before 4 October.
 
Civil society organisations member of the Liaison Group met on 19 September
Members of the civil society organisations of the Liaison Group met on 19 September at the EESC. The group made some proposals on the future work plan of the Liaison Group.  In terms of thematic priorities, it was proposed to work on the future of Europe; on the Europe 2020 Strategy, the European Commission work programme and on other possible topics such as transparency. A Civil Society Day will be held before the elections in order to create a dialogue around civil society organisations' shared concerned for the future of Europe. These proposals will be discussed with the EESC members at the next Liaison Group plenary meeting. More than ever participants affirmed the need for joint action especially in promoting the need for a more social Europe and for a genuine civil dialogue and national and EU level.


/// NEWS FROM MEMBERS AND PARTNERS ///

SOLIDAR’s Silver Rose Awards 2013 edition
Since 2000 SOLIDAR organises a high-level ceremony to award persons or organisations that have contributed to advance social justice and solidarity. In 2011 for instance, the Pakistanis Labour Education Foundation was rewarded. On 16 October the 2013 edition of this major civil society event will take place in the European Parliament where five winners will be celebrated. See the list of previous winners and sign up for the ceremony!
 
EUCEN’s OBSERVAL-NET project on validation: on-line debate
The OBSERVAL-Net project is coordinated by the European University Continuing Education Network (EUCEN) and aimed to set up a network of stakeholders supporting validation of non-formal and informal learning. OBSERVAL-Net presents today its second on-line debate on VNIL issues in French where you can contribute until 4 October 2013. The topic is "Les modalités d’évaluation dans un processus de validation des acquis non formels et informels (VAE)". During these days you will be able to comment and vote the motion as well as follow the interventions of several experts around Europe. Participation is open to all and free of charge! See also the EUCEN Autumn Seminar in Brussels on 16 October dealing with the new Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes.
 
Campus Europae’s “Learning Employability Places”
For the second year in a row, Campus Europae will enable 20 students to participate in its “Learning Employability Places” (LEP) Program. It comes to offer part-time placements in companies, administrations, hospitals, teaching institutions and NGOs of a foreign country while studying in the same time. The LEP Program is aimed to facilitate employability after graduation by enriching students’ CVs, networks and linguistic competences. 2014 will conclude the pilot phase of the programme and applications already increased by 50% for the academic year 2013-2014.
 
EDEN’s Synergy workshop
The European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) will organise in Budapest (Hungary) on 19-21 October a Workshop on “Transnational Learning Forum for Exchanging Practices and Ideas”. The event will tackle hot topics such as Open Educational Resources or ICT enhanced language teaching and learning. Many good practices will be introduced through presentations but also in a “project fairground” session and workshops will be the opportunity to concretely reflect on synergies. Register! The eLene2learn project, aiming at exploring and promoting ICT and digital media for the development of the learning to learn competence, will also be presented.


/// INSTITUTIONAL NEWS ///

"Opening Up Education" Communication launched tomorrow
Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) and Commissioner Neelie Kroes (Commission Vice-President, in charge of the Digital Agenda) will jointly launch tomorrow a Communication on "Opening Up Education - a proposal for an European Initiative to enhance education and skills development through new technologies". The goal is to tighten the links between all kinds of learning and digital technologies and contents, so that education and training in the EU deliver better. See the roadmap.

CULT Committee at work: Rethinking Education and history education
EUCIS-LLL congratulates MEP K. Nevedalova (S&D) and her team after the adoption in the last CULT Committee of 17 September of her report on “Rethinking Education” (see draft report and amendments) (adoption in plenary planed in October). Mrs Nevedalova (see interview) had carefully listened to stakeholders including EUCIS-LLL (see the Platform and its members’ position on the text and notably the recent paper by the DARE network, as well as related events) and we trust the final report to echo civil society concerns. MEPs also had a heated discussion on MEP M.H. Migalski (ECR)’s draft report on historical memory in culture and education in the EU; MEPs recommended to adopt a more neutral tone and enhance peace and mutual understanding notably via history education (see also the EP’s House of European History project).
 
2014 EU budget: still a long way to go
On 18 September the Commission unveiled a letter modifying its proposal for the 2014 EU financial framework by heading, taking into account the outcome of MFF negotiations and hoping this document to be “the updated basis for a smooth adoption of the 2014 budget”. €130 million (2011 prices) are foreseen to be frontloaded for Erasmus+ next year (and €20 million in 2015) and almost €1,3bn for the Youth Employment Initiative. On 16 October the Commission, Council and Parliament will meet in trialogue configuration to discuss next year’s figures, still subject to sensitive negotiations.
 
EU Presidency Conference on Leadership in Education
Leadership in education is one of the transversal educational topics that the Lithuanian Presidency has wished to tackle during its mandate (see EUCIS-LLL infonote on Lithuanian priorities). On 9-10 September, a conference was organised in cooperation with the Commission in Vilnius to debate and exchange with various stakeholders on the diverse missions of leaders (politicians, school heads, teacher educators…) to strive for better quality, more efficient education and training systems. Commissioner Vassiliou insisted in her speech on the need for all teachers and trainers to be lifelong learners, and Lithuanian Minister of Education and Science Dainius Pavalkis called for change, open-mindedness and creativity. Another Presidency priority was making the Eastern Partnership a reality and Mr Pavalkis also attended with Mrs Vassiliou (see speech) the 3rd Informal Eastern Partnership Dialogue in Armenia on 13 September.


/// RESEARCH & INNOVATION ///

2014 ESN Survey for students: take part and win an iPad!
The 2014 edition of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN)’s survey will be on International Experience and Language Learning. Every year the network investigates on a specific theme related to academic and non-academic mobility with feedback from tens of thousands of former and current students. The concept of this highly successful ESN project is to get a better insight of those students’ vision and needs and convey the message to key EU decision-makers. Language skills are especially important for mobility and employability, as recently highlighted in a Commission press release on UK students’ needs to learn more foreign languages. It takes only 10 minutes to answer ESN survey and participants can win an iPad or a camera. See also the Yell (Young Europeans love languages) project results (partnering VHS Cham, an EAEA member).
 
New Youthpass Impact Study: highlighting the importance of non-formal learning
The Commission has released a new study on young people’s personal development and employability and the recognition of youth work, relating the Youthpass, a tool for the recognition of skills acquired by the Youth in Action programme participants. 80% of respondents agreed that Youthpass helps to communicate on the importance of non-formal learning, and the study notably concludes that the Youthpass has contributed to the individual recognition of non-formal and informal learning. EUCIS-LLL has recently set up a task force on validation of non-formal and informal learning where the Platform’s experts and EU decision-makers can interact on related current challenges, notably the implementation of the 2012 Council Recommendation and the release of the PIAAC survey, planed on 8 October.
 
Participate in the EMIL’s Intergenerational Learning Awards!
Born in 2009, the European Map of Intergenerational Learning (EMIL) is a network of organisations from various backgrounds supporting initiatives in the field all over Europe. Its Annual Awards Programme aims to raise awareness of the importance of intergenerational communication, learning and work across the continent and deepen cooperation between stakeholders by showcasing successful practices in several categories (housing/environment, culture and the arts, working environment, communities, education, health, sports…). See EMIL top-right corner homepage for conditions and application.

New Commission study on "Entrepreneurship Education - a guide for educators"
The Commission has published a practical handbook for educators on entrepreneurship education enriched with several exchanges with stakeholders and good practices from the field. The importance of the acquisition of entrepreneurship competences has been highlighted several times by the Commission within the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan and the Rethinking Education Communication. This new guide emphasises for instance the need to teach entrepreneurship with active methods engaging students, as a single subject or across all subjects. Besides, the document insists on the "intrapreneur" spirit, that can be used in all professional settings and not only to set up a business. See also EUCIS-LLL policy debate report on "Entrepreneurship skills: common understanding? Common expectations?" and EUCIS-LLL position and compendium of good practices.


/// EU FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES ///

Open call for tender EAC/10/2013 – The changing pedagogical landscape: new ways of teaching and learning and their implications for higher education policy.
Deadline: 22 October 2013

Youth in Action Programme
Permanent calls for proposals 2013


/// PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS ///

Join the online debate on the Single Market
The EU is organising the Single Market Month from 23 September to 23 October 2013 – a month of online debates between individuals, businesses, organisations, policy-makers and EU leaders to discuss ideas to improve the EU's Single Market. You can already submit, comment and vote on ideas on jobs and qualifications, social rights, banks and e-commerce.


 /// AGENDA ///

EUCIS-LLL Europe 2020 Working Group, 16 October
European Education, Training and Youth Forum 2013, 17-18 October
EUCIS-LLL Lifelong Learning week, 2-6 December
 
Find more education and training events in Europe on our website
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@ EUCIS-LLL 2013