On 15 February 2013, the EU's education ministers discussed Erasmus for All, the reformed student exchange programme, and the contribution of education to creating jobs and growth.
Erasmus for All is a proposal for an integrated programme in the areas of education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. It brings together in a single programme activities previously covered by a number of separate programmes (including the Lifelong Learning Programme, Erasmus Mundus and Youth in Action) and also includes activities in a new area of European competence: sport.
The new programme aims to continue focussing on three types of key actions, namely:
• the learning mobility of individuals;
• cooperation on innovation and good practices; and
• support for policy reform.
There are also a number of innovative proposals, such as the Erasmus Master's degree student loan guarantee scheme - aiming to promote mobility and access to affordable finance for students taking their Master's degree in another member state -, knowledge alliances and sector skill alliances.
The programme also aims to support the EU's efforts to overcome one of the most difficult economic periods in its history, notably by aligning itself very closely with the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs, in which education and training play an essential part.
The negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission started on 19 February 2013. The Irish Presidency hopes to achieve an agreement before the summer, which would enable important preparatory work by the Commission to be completed in time for the programme to begin, as proposed, on 1 January 2014.
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From proprietary to personalized higher education – How OER takes universities outside the comfort zone
This article published at the Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society Vol. 8, n. 1, January 2012 (pp. 9 - 22) explains the adoption of educational technology coupled to the increased acceptance and adoption of openness in terms of sharing resources.
This article examines the current shift in focus from the simple production and sharing of open educational
resources (OER) towards wider concepts such as open educational practices (OEP) and cultures (OEC). OER involves mostly educators whereas OEP and OEC demand the commitment of management, administrators and politicians.
The INTENT Project: an update.
The Erasmus Multilateral Project INTENT (Integrating Telecollaborative Networks into Foreign Language Higher Education) aims to raise greater awareness among students, educators and decision makers of telecollaboration as a tool for virtual mobility in FL education at the Higher Education (university) level and also on achieving more effective integration of telecollaboration in Higher Education Institutions. INTENT is financed by the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme with the objective to integrate online intercultural exchange projects in European universities.
The INTENT project team wishes to share the updated News Bulletin with upcoming activities. This bulletin includes a link to our extensive report on telecollaborative activities in European universities, videos and powerpoints from recent presentations, as well as news about future presentations and workshops. Click here to read News Bulletin updates.
For queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
More and more educators in European universities are using the internet to bring their students into contact with other classrooms around the world so they can collaborate together, develop their foreign language skills and gain experience of intercultural collaboration...
The Erasmus Multilateral Project INTENT (Integrating Telecollaborative Networks into Foreign Language Higher Education) aims to raise greater awareness among students, educators and decision makers of telecollaboration as a tool for virtual mobility in FL education at the Higher Education (university) level and also on achieving more effective integration of telecollaboration in Higher Education Institutions.
The INTENT project has the following objectives:
- Establish a clear overview of the levels of use of telecollaboration, explore attitudes to the activity among key stake holders across European HEI’s, and identify practical barriers to the take-up of telecollaboration.
- Develop a set of tools, telecollaborative models and partner networks to overcome barriers and facilitate telecollaboration practice.
- Develop a set of workable solutions to address the lack of academic recognition which telecollaboration receives at Higher Education level.
- Publish an online training manual with models of telecollaborative exchange which enable a closer integration of virtual and physical mobility.
- Publish documents and make presentations to inform the academic community.
- Engage decision makers at institutional, regional and national levels in a collaborative dialogue as to how telecollaboration can be effectively employed as a tool for the achievement of the Bologna process. Publish a document based on this process of consultation and dialogue.
European Commission proposes to make the year 2013 the "European Year of Citizens".
“Free movement is the most cherished right in the European Union. It is synonymous with Union citizenship. Businesses and citizens are reaping huge rewards as the EU steadily breaks down internal barriers to the free movement of goods, services and people. I want to build on our achievements so that all EU citizens feel comfortable when travelling, shopping, studying or settling in another EU Member State", said Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU-Commissioner responsible for Justice and Citizenship. ”If Europeans do not know their rights, they cannot effectively exercise them. Today 48% of Europeans feel that they are not well informed about their rights. The European Year of Citizens will help us change this. It will be a good opportunity to remind people what the European Union can do for every one of us."
Freedom of movement is the most cherished right of EU citizenship (see press release No. 14/2011). Indeed, more and more Europeans benefit from this right and live in another EU Member State: in 2009, an estimated 11.9 million citizens were living in a Member State other than their own; in 2010 this figure grew to 12.3 million (STAT/11/105). Thanks to EU citizenship – which does not replace national citizenship but is additional to it – EU-citizens have access to a broad range of rights across all EU-Member States, including rights as consumers to access goods and services in other Member States, and the right as citizens to access education, to obtain recognition of their professional qualifications, to access healthcare, to acquire or preserve social security rights or the right to vote and to stand as candidates in elections to the European Parliament and in municipal elections in their Member State of residence.
Yet whilst more than one third (35%) of workers would consider taking a job in another Member State, nearly one in five still considers that there are too many obstacles to actually doing so. Together with language difficulties, a chronic lack of information is the most important barrier to cross-border commuting. A survey from 2010 showed that too many people still do not feel adequately informed about the different rights available to them: only 43% know the meaning of the term 'citizen of the European Union' and almost half of European citizens (48%) indicate that they are ‘not well informed’ about their rights (see Annex).
In addition, the EU Citizenship Report 2010 (see IP/10/1390 and MEMO/10/525) showed that, in fact, many barriers remain that prevent or discourage people from moving abroad. The report outlined 25 concrete actions to remove these remaining obstacles. One of these is to "strengthen citizens’ awareness of their EU citizenship status, their rights and meaning in their daily lives by proposing the designation of 2013 as the European Year of Citizens and by organising targeted events on EU citizenship and citizen-related policies during this Year". The European Year of Citizens will be characterised by a follow up to the EU Citizenship Report: in 2013, the Commission will publish an action plan for completing the removal of the remaining obstacles that hinder citizens from enjoying their rights as Union citizens.
By designating 2013 as the European Year of Citizens, the European Commission is delivering on the promise made in the EU Citizenship Report and answering the European Parliament's call for such a year.
The purpose of the European Year of Citizens is to facilitate Union citizens' exercising their right to move and reside freely within the EU by ensuring they can easily access information about their rights. More specifically, the aim of the Year is to:
raise citizens' awareness of their right to reside freely within the European Union;
raise citizens' awareness of how they can benefit from EU rights and policies and to stimulate their active participation in Union policy-making;
stimulate debate about the impact and potential of the right to free movement, in particular in terms of strengthening cohesion and people's mutual understanding of one another.
To mark the European Year of Citizens 2013, a range of events, conferences and seminars will be organised across the EU at Union, national, regional or local level. The Commission is also planning to strengthen the visibility of the multilingual Europe Direct and Your Europe web portals as key elements of a 'one-stop-shop' information system on Union citizens' rights, as well as the role and visibility of problem solving tools, such as SOLVIT, to allow Union citizens to better make use of and defend their rights.
The proposed budget for the activities to take place during the 2013 European Year of Citizens is EUR 1 million.
Today's Decision will need to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers according to the "ordinary legislative procedure" (co-decision). The Commission expects to work in close cooperation with the other EU institutions, notably the European Parliament, and with the Member States to make sure the Year has a strong and lasting impact.
The worldwide emergence of the ePortfolio is transforming our current views on learning technologies. For the first time in the relatively short history of learning technologies we are seeing the rise of a new generation of tools dedicated to valuing and celebrating the achievements of the individual, from nursery school to lifelong and life wide learning, a technology providing a key link for individual, organisational as well as community learning (e.g. communities of practice, learning regions and cities). While some countries and regions are already providing the infrastructure required to offer ePortfolio access to all citizens, other regions and countries are considering it, and others have yet to discover its possibilities.
Europortfolio are looking for partners to submit a proposal to the European Commission. Posible funding is 150.000€ per year, with a maximum of 3 years. Deadline for the submission of proposals is 1 March 2012.
Despite success recorded in the development of ePortfolio initiatives in Europe and beyond, the growth of ePortfolio is still extremely patchy across institutions, regions and sectors. This is the consequence of a lack of leadership resulting in the fragmentation of initiatives, information, technologies and actors.
Leadership: despite the efforts made by a number of actors, including those who have succeeded in making Europe a worldwide ePortfolio actor, this initial leadership has not yet been translated into a shared European ePortfolio vision, practice and infrastructure.
Fragmentation of initiatives: most initiatives occur at individual, local and organisational levels, few at regional, national and international levels (e.g. European Language Portfolio). This fragmentation, which sometimes mirrors that of political structures (municipality/district/region/nation), institutions and sectors, is detrimental to the emergence of a an ePortfolio ecosystem working across space, time and institutions.
Fragmentation of technologies: despite efforts on interoperability (e.g. IMS and LEAP 2A standards) ePortfolios are not interoperable across ePortfolio platforms and main stream information systems in education, human resource development and employment.
Fragmentation of actors: distance, language and cultural barriers affect the ability to share information and build shared knowledge within and across sectors and frontiers. The results of interesting experiences, both successful, as well as failed, are not easily accessible to those planning or making decisions in relation to ePortfolio policy/technology implementation.
Fragmentation of information: despite the efforts of a number of actors, there is no single centralised point from which it is possible to find all relevant information on ePortfolios initiatives, technologies, practice and actors.
In order to address those issues, we are working on building a consortium to submit a proposal to the European Commission. Posible funding (link) is 150.000€ per year, with a maximum of 3 years. Deadline for the submission of proposals is 1 March 2012.
An initial summary of the proposal is accessible at http://tinyurl.com/7ddhs73.
If you are interested to join as a partner or associated partner, you are invited to provide details using an online form accessible at: http://tinyurl.com/7hrxghs. Responses will be used to update the Summary and to invite partners to join as Partner or Associate Partner.
The new Europass website continues to open doors to learning and working in Europe
After almost 7 years of helping citizens make their skills and qualifications clearly understood across Europe, the Europass website has now acquired a new, modern graphic identity.
The new site includes a navigation section, Europass and you, which provides quicker access to the most popular information, according to personal interests.
The Europass website and the online Curriculum Vitae and Language Passport editor continue to attract more and more citizens every month (1.2 million visits in November 2011).
This manual is the main result of the EU-VIP project. This publication provides a framework for and a description of the conditions of success for integrating virtual mobility in international internships. Next to this it defines the context and definitions used in the EU-VIP project and it presents the conclusions regarding the perspectives from the different stakeholders: students, higher education institutions and companies.
Quick guide in English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian and Polish (pdf)
International work placements or internships, as they are generally known, are gaining more and more importance in the context of internationalization of higher education and globalization of our (professional) world. Traditional international work placements, where the learner travels to the company abroad, are not always feasible for all students because of financial, geographical, social or other reasons. For those physical placements abroad that do happen, there are also a number of difficulties to overcome, mainly related to a lack of communication between the student, the foreign company and the institution for higher education.
Virtual mobility or ICT-supported interaction to realize international collaboration, offers possibilities to address these issues. The EU-VIP project looked at how virtual mobility can support or even enable international work placements and addressed the three stakeholders that are involved in an international work placement: the higher education institution, the student and the receiving company or organization. To this end 19 pilot projects were executed.
Firstly, the project established a state-of-the-art regarding virtual and blended placements. Starting from this document and additional research the partnership put together a scenario for organizing virtual and blended work placements. This scenario served as a general framework to design and implement 19 pilot projects. These pilots all varied on the scale from a very limited to a very far reaching integration of virtual mobility activities.
Before executing the pilots, pilot participants (students, teaching staff, administrative staff, company mentors...) received local training adapted to their specific needs (development of technology skills, help while implementing the general scenario, how to undertake e-coaching). After pilot execution, all participants contributed to the evaluation of the pilot, via surveys and/or interviews. The feedback from the pilot participants was used to further expand and fine-tune the framework and to identify critical success factors for the integration of virtual mobility in internships.
During the project al lot of attention was also paid to identifying the needs and the benefits for all stakeholders. To this end two stakeholder meetings were organized to collect feedback on (intermediary) project outcomes. These meetings were aimed at representatives from higher education institutions and from the business world. The students were addressed through the organization of two BEST symposia.
The EU-VIP outcomes:
- Manual ‘Make it work. Integrating Virtual Mobility in International Internships’
This manual is the main outcome of the project. It provides a framework for and a description of the conditions of success for integrating virtual mobility in international internships. Next to this it defines the context and definitions used in the EU-VIP project and it presents the conclusions regarding the perspectives from the different stakeholders: students, higher education institutions and companies.
The quick guide is a summary of the main findings presented in the elaborate manual. Interested in the topic but no time to read the full document? Than this guide might be just what you need.
- Video training material, explaining the context and definition of the project, stakeholder perspectives, guidelines to integrate virtual mobility in international placements and presenting the 19 pilot projects.
The EU-VIP partners:
- Media and Learning Unit, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (BE), project coordinator
- Aalto University (FI)
- BEST (FR)
- Coimbra Group (BE)
- EAL, TietgenSkolen (DK)
- EADTU (NL)
- EFMD (BE)
- EuroPACE ivzw (BE)
- FernUniversität Hagen (DE)
- Laurea University (FI)
- KHLeuven (BE)
- University of Padua (IT)
- University of Bologna (IT)
- University of Turku (FI)
- University of Groningen (NL)
- West Pomerian Business School (PL)