On 22 May 2018, the European Commission proposed a second package of initiatives aimed at creating a European Education Area by 2025, reinforcing the cultural dimension of the European Union and bolstering youth participation.
From the onset of this Commission, the JRC has been conducting research into various aspects of education policy, focusing on the development of competences and factors linked to the digital transition.
Youth strategy – key competences for thriving in the digital age
The new Youth Strategy reflects the Commission's commitment to investing in young people and their future.
Both frameworks offer concrete tools to foster digital and entrepreneurial skills, which are necessary to adapt, be resilient and thrive in our rapidly changing world.
Take a selfie – how digital is your school?
The JRC, together with the Commission's Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), has been developing an online application, SELFIE, which is a self-reflection tool for digitally capable schools.
Schools can use the tool to assess their strengths and weaknesses in using digital technologies for learning.
After a successful pilot in late 2017, the Digital Education Action Plan foresees the scaling up of SELFIE to one million users, including school leaders, teachers and students by the end of 2019.
The SELFIE project is part of the Digital Education Action Plan adopted in January 2018, to which the JRC contributed with its reports on digitally competent citizens (DigComp), educators (DigCompEdu), educational organisations (DigCompOrg), eTwinning, blockchain in education, open education, learning analytics and analysis of PISA 2015 data on the ICT familiarity questionnaire linked to the performance of migrants and disadvantaged students.
Languages and employability
The JRC has also published a number of reports relevant to the initiative on Teaching and Learning of Languages, such as the 2015 one on languages and employability, which provides evidence about the importance of young people becoming proficient in foreign languages.
It presents new findings about the relationship between foreign language skills and the likelihood of being in employment.
New initiative for European universities
The research support in the domain of higher education included designing and conducting a survey to map examples of existing transnational collaborative partnerships of European higher education institutions.
Results confirm the added value of these partnerships, in particular with respect to their education mission.
The study indicates a number of perceived barriers to strengthening these collaborations in the financial, administrative and legal fields.
The findings on the need for long-term, sustainable funding, combining European and national funds, to create sustainable transnational higher education partnerships, contributes to the current thinking behind the European Universities initiative.
In line with the Council Recommendation on promoting the automatic mutual recognition of higher education, the study suggests that easier accreditation and recognition of learning outcomes could be very useful to motivate future collaborations across Europe.
In preparation of the EU Leaders’ meeting in November 2017 in Gothenburg, the European Commission contributed to the discussions on the future of education and culture by setting out its vision towards a European Education Area by 2025.
Heads of State and Government discussed education, training and culture at the Gothenburg Social Summit in November 2017 guided by the Commission's Communication 'Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture,' setting out the vision of a European Education Area and announcing a New Agenda for Culture.
This resulted in the European Council conclusions of 14 December 2017 calling on Member States, the Council and the Commission to take forward the agenda discussed in Gothenburg.
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