This paper outlines the vision of the Erasmus+ Coalition on the future generation of the Erasmus+ programme based on its current implementation and potential areas for improvement. The Erasmus+ Coalition, set up in 2015 by the Lifelong Learning Platform and European Youth Forum, is an informal alliance of civil society organisations with extensive experience in working with Erasmus+ and previous generations of the programme. Both organisations coordinate dialogue between the EU institutions and civil society organisations across Europe representing all categories of programme beneficiaries. We meet regularly to discuss issues of common concern in the programme implementation and to formulate common recommendations.
As negotiations are now beginning on the Erasmus+ successor, it is a timely opportunity to update our 2016 position with a view to providing decision makers with concrete solutions on how to improve the programme implementation for its beneficiaries and ensure that it remains the flagship programme of the EU for education, training, mobility and youth.
Here are the main points to be aware of:
Accessibility and social inclusion
Cross-sector and lifelong learning approach
European added value and decentralisation
Coordination and consistency between NAs
Quality information and user-friendly programme
Quality evaluation and feedback
Policy support actions and civil society cooperation
The Project Development Workshop is back! This year, with a catch-it-all topic: “Education rethought: make it happen!”. Do you have a great idea for an innovative European Project on new ways of educating? Whether it is in higher education, school or vocational education and training, adult education, youth or sport: get ready to set up your European project proposal and benefit from EU funding from the Erasmus+ programme.
Mark Thursday 22 and Friday 23 November 2018 in your agenda. The ReSET Task Force is delighted to invite you to the fourth edition of the Project Development Workshop (PDW), to take place in Brussels. The PDW is a unique occasion to convene with institutions, civil society organisations and providers active in the field of education and training, with the aim of building consortia for the next Erasmus+ call for applications.
Find European partners for your next project
The topic of this year’s PDW is Education Rethought. Make it happen! Let’s push the development of new ways of educating in all educational sectors and training. What education do we need? How should learning be organised? We want to revisit the purpose of education and the organisation of learning.
Do you have an innovative idea for a European project on new ways of educating? To be eligible for EU funding from the Erasmus+ programme, you must work together with European partners. Because they are not always easy to find, we organise this project development workshop where you will develop a project proposal with international partners.
How does it work?
Are you interested in participating in this workshop? Are you eligible?
Do you have a clear project idea and can your organisation free a person, the time and resources to be project coordinator of an international Erasmus+ project?
Is your project idea linked to new ways of educating?
Are you available to come to Brussels on 22 and 23 November 2018, and are you prepared to lead a round table with interested international partners?
You will be notified in the first week of September 2018 whether your project idea has been selected to participate in the project development workshop. Then we will distribute the best project ideas among potential partners. Interested partners will be able to sign up for the project development workshop and project leaders will select themselves the best partners for their project. An e-confirmation of participation will be sent in October.
This event is a co-organisation of EARLALL, the Lifelong Learning Platform, the Liaison Agency Flanders-Europe (VLEVA), Central Denmark EU Office, South Denmark European Office, Région Hauts de France and West-Finland European Office. It will take place at VLEVA, Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels.
This interview first appeared on copybuzz.com in the frame of the public campaign towards a new copyright reform.
Alongside threats from the upload filter (Article 13), the snippet tax (Article 11), and the limits on text and data mining (Article 3), there’s another part of the proposed Copyright Directive that has serious problems. Article 4 covers “Use of works and other subject-matter in digital and cross-border teaching activities”, and calls for a copyright exception for certain kinds of educational use. Although that is welcome, there are issues with the details of the proposal. For example, the Lifelong Learning Platform, a Europe-wide umbrella organisation active in the areas of education, training and youth, is concerned that non-formal and informal learning would be unable to make use of the exception. The group’s President, David Lopez, explains why the draft text of the Copyright Directive’s Article 4 needs to be revised.
GM: Could you please introduce yourself and your organisation a little – its history and its aims?
DL: My name is David Lopez and I am President of the Lifelong Learning Platform (LLLP) which is a network of over 41 European organisations active in the field of education, training and youth, coming from all over Europe and beyond. We stand for a truly holistic approach to education, which can be seen in in our membership: we have adult education, vocational education and training (VET), youth organisations, volunteers, scouts, sports organisations, university, schools, teachers, parents, early-childhood, covering the full spectrum of education sectors and age groups.
These networks represent more than 50,000 educational institutions and associations in formal, non-formal and informal learning. Their members reach out to several millions of beneficiaries. Since it was established in 2005, LLLP’s mission has been to voice citizens’ concerns on lifelong learning issues towards the EU institutions and promote more complementarity between all types of learning – formal, non-formal and informal. For us, education is really the key to foster equity, social cohesion and active citizenship.
GM: How does copyright pose a problem for lifelong learning – for example, outside formal educational establishments?
DL: Copyright has always been a contentious issue in formal education but the implications go beyond schools and universities to affect organisations such as libraries, museums, community centres and civil society organisations including NGOs, youth and student organisations. The professionals and volunteers working in such organisations are also providing education through free courses, peer-to-peer or community learning.
The problem is that in many countries the copyright exemption for education only applies to schools or other formal educational establishments. So, in order to comply with the law, other organisations providing education are in fact required to seek permission before making certain use of copyright-protected material in their educational programmes. These provisions severely limit the pool of resources to which these educators have access – as easily accessible sources on the Internet are often still copyright-protected and cannot be used in practice.
Hence, the burden to the work of teachers and educators of all types is considerable – they have to figure out whether a specific resource is copyright-protected or not, whom to contact for permission, wait for a response, see if any costs will be involved, etc., or face anxiety for being fined should they choose to bypass copyright. This situation, with the limits that it puts on the learning experience, contradicts the imperative to provide a high quality provision of education and lifelong lifelong in Europe.
GM: Which parts of the proposed EU Copyright Directive particularly concern you and your organisation, and why? What are the problems?
DL: Article 4 of the Copyright Directive pertaining to the mandatory exception for education is of major concern for LLLP and its members. The proposal grants the exception only to formal education establishments, which is an outdated approach given that the future of learning lies in accessing it anytime, anywhere and delivered in a variety of spaces beyond the classroom.
Moreover, the provision for licensing schemes – overriding the education exception – that the proposal allows Member States to set in place, creates a dangerous precedent because it will cause further uncertainty for educators, not to mention potentially unaffordable costs. Many educational institutions, both formal and non-formal such as NGOs, adult learning centres or other small community-based organisations, are ill placed to negotiate a licence contract or are not even able to consider the possibility of purchasing a licence due to limited resources.
A further problem is the potential implications for the cross-border exchange of educational resources. The proposal would restrict access to materials to a “secure electronic environment” to which only the students and teachers of the specific educational establishment would have access. This goes against the reality that many teachers are constantly and very gladly sharing their own materials with their peers from other institutions and in other European countries.
GM: What would you like to see happen with those parts?
DL: Article 4 needs to be re-thought from the perspective of how it can serve as an enabler, not a barrier to high quality education. We would therefore prefer to see a comprehensive exception that applies to the educational purpose underpinning the use of copyright-protected material, rather than the type of user providing the education; that covers both digital and non-digital educational activities; that cannot be superseded by licensing arrangements; and that also supports the cross-border exchange of educational materials.
GM: What do you think might happen in the EU lifelong learning field if these problems aren’t resolved?
DL: I am afraid that it will lead to more frustration and uncertainty for teachers and educators and, worst of all, contribute to the growing trend of commercialising the learning experience. Education in all its forms is a public good and the proposed Directive risks to undermine that.
GM: Any other comments?
DL: Just to conclude by stressing again that in the copyright debate EU policymakers need to recognise the nature of education and lifelong learning in the 21st century – the fact that it occurs across borders, across a variety of spaces and is provided by a diverse range of actors. The new directive should adapt to that reality, balancing the rights of copyright owners with the public interest of helping education in all its diversity to move forwards, not backwards.
What? A partnership between lifelong learning and culture
Why? To rethink education in Europe: from validation and recognition to learning environments, all of this with the unmistakable LLLP’s holistic approach
Who? Members, experts, academics, learners, civil society organisations, national, EU and international representatives: all together to debate this great topic!
We start with sparkles and fireworks! For the opening ceremony, we invited a distinguished panel to discuss Bulgarian and Austrian perspectives on lifelong learning and the synergies built between education and culture. Denitsa Sacheva, Deputy Minister for Education and Science of Bulgaria; Stefan Zotti, Director of OeAD (Erasmus+ National Agency); Stefaan Hermans, Director of Policy Strategy and Evaluation, DG EAC; and our President David Lopez will give a lively debate on the direction of education in Europe. A remarkable keynote from Prof Dr Kim Shinil, Professor Emeritus, Seoul National University, Advisor, Korean Federation of Lifelong Education, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education of the Republic of Korea will widen our perspective on lifelong learning.
At the end of the discussion, we will be offering a “European Year of CUltural Heritage Reception” in the Rathauskeller, with welcoming words from Dr Anna Steiner, Austrian national coordinator for the European Year of Cultural Heritage and Dr Claire Giraud-Labalte, European Heritage Alliance 3.3.
PANEL DISCUSSION AND KEYNOTE(S)
On the second day we will have Prof Dr Kurt Matyas, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of TU Wien open our day with some welcoming words. A panel discussion with members from civil society organisations and European institutions will set the scene, highlighting the numerous initiatives in the fields of education and culture. Get the chance to ask questions to Gerhard Bisovsky, Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen and Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research of Austria; Eva Sobotka, EU Agency for Fundamental Rights; Lars Ebert, Board Member of Culture Action Europe; Gina Ebner, Secretary General of the Lifelong Learning Platform.
After the panel discussion not one but two keynote speakers will provide different points of view on “Lifelong Learning Culture”. Prof Rineke Smilde, Professor of Lifelong Learning in Music at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen and Professor of Music Pedagogy at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna will lead us through «Lifelong Learning Culture: Art as a Catalyst», whereas Prof Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, will deepen the topics related to education and lifelong learning.
Nobody likes break-out sessions more than us, and to really make sure that we open the floor to everyone’ contributions, we will offer four participatory moments, to tackle these following topics deeper
The benefits of learning environments: how to put non-formal and informal learning in the spotlight – With Christina Paulus, BOKU University and Annette Mjöberg, Secretary of IFLA’s Public Libraries section
Making all knowledge count: moving from skills and competences to their recognition – With Mariya Dzhengozova, 3s Unternehmensberatung GmbH, and Lorenza Leita, Fondazione Politecnico Milano
The place of education and culture in an holistic society; how do they shape active citizenship? – With Eddy Habben Jansen, NECE and Dr Ana Gaio, ENCATC
Can it be an LLLP event without a Fishbowl discussion? Now that it has become a trademark for us, we i,vite you to take part of the most democratic discussion-driver in the conference! You know the rule: five experts enter the inner circle, a moderator asks them to agree (or disagree) with five statements and then the debate is on! Only people in the inner circle can speak, and to do so you will have to…tap on someone else’s shoulder!
The conference will be a space for sharing, exchanging good practices, and building knowledge. All of this, in a dynamic and interactive way. At the centre of the venue, participants will be able to visit a “Gallery Walk”, exploring successful and innovative projects displayed in this dedicated area. The Walk is open to members, local and European partners, as well as sponsors to showcase their successful stories. In addition, the Walk will have blank canvas for us all to imagine a new scenario for Europe.
The LLLPlatform will give opportunity to members and partners to showcase their practices during the main day, with a dedicated session (see the programme). Would you like to be involved and present a project or an initiative? Fill in this form before June 1st! Or get in contact with us if you to have more information!
On 1-2 June The Lifelong Learning Platform participated in the European Youth Event 2018 and contributed actively to the Yo!Fest 2018. Both events took place in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, to celebrate European youth and its contribution to shaping the future of Europe. The delegation of the LLLP was composed of 11 young Europeans: from the Platform and from member organisations like ESU, EucA and EUF, we all participated to bring the lifelong learning perspective to this milestone event. In fact, the “lifelong learners” delegation took part in many activities concerning the wider topic of education inside the European Parliament.
And we could not miss this chance to ask for an #Erasmusx10!
The Lifelong Learning Platform was one of the partners of the European Youth Forum for the Yo!Fest: the great youth village, situated just outside the European Parliament, was the nest for over 10.000 young people that arrived in Strasbourg. In this colourful festival, LLLP was involved in the conceptualisation of one of the five external hubs, the one titled “keeping up with the digital revolution”. Here we presented two of our projects: project DIGIT and project COMANITY. The first featured a questionnaire for young people, to understand how digitally aware we are in our online world. For the second one, qualitative interviews were carried out with youth workers.
The European Youth Event, which took place inside the Parliament, is a cornerstone event to engage youth in the mechanism of the European Union. And we did uphold to the task! We engaged in debates with MEPs on the renewed programme Europe for Culture, we brought in our vision of education in the discussion “Education and Training at your fingertips”, we tried to assess what active engagement in citizenship education leans, and much much more!
This great experience allowed us to truly engage with young European on what matters the most for us: inclusive and accessible education systems, for all. We are delighted to having been able to contribute to the wider debate of the role of youth in Europe through our perspective.
Liberal democracy is in a state of crisis. Worldwide, a “democratic recession” can be observed, even in countries that have long claimed a leading role in defending and spreading democratic values and freedoms. Uncertainties about the future of the European Union and its transformation into a “Citizens’ Europe” are shaping the run-up to the European Parliament elections in May 2019. At the same time we observe new signals for a renewed emphasis on the value of citizenship education as an indispensable subject for democracies in the 21st century.
This year’s NECE conference in Marseille will provide a platform for the development of strategies on how citizenship education and civil society can provide us with the readiness to take action in society in the defence and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Confirmed speakers include Latifa Ibn Ziaten, Emily O’Reilly, Niccolò Milanese, Jan-Werner Müller, Basil Kerski, Claire Demesmay, Edit Inotai, Istvan Hegedüs, Karolina Wigura, Alberto Alemanno, Fernando Vallespín, Vincent Hendricks, Karin Wahl-Jorgensenand Almut Möller.
The open and creative venue of the Friche la Belle de Mai in the centre of Marseille offers an optimal (spatial and social) framework for a “festival” of networking, dialogue and inspiration.
NECE is open for citizenship educators, activists and students from Europe, the Eastern Partnership countries and North Africa as well as for the public of Marseilles, French educators and civil society organisations. Conference participation is free of charge.
On 6 June the European Parliament’s Lifelong Learning Interest Group met to discuss the topic of 21st Century Learning Environments: where is non-formal and informal learning in the Future of Learning? The meeting brought together Members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, civil society organisations and other stakeholders to discuss the concept of learning environments and explore the relationship between such environments across formal, non-formal and informal settings. In that respect, the meeting served as an opportunity to reflect on the extent to which EU policies support a modern understanding of learning environments; in other words, give value to learning that occurs beyond the formal sector.
In the course of the discussions speakers highlighted a number of issues relevant to how we conceive learning environments in the 21st century, such as the need to update the traditional relationship between educators and learners, recognising the increasing role of teachers as “facilitators” rather than controllers of the learning experience; the crucial role of lifelong learning in helping people adapt to digital and other forms of change; the value of arts and humanities alongside science-based disciplines (shifting from STEM to STEAM); as well as the recognition and validation of prior learning. The need to integrate such concerns into the ongoing work of the European Commission on realising the vision for a European Education Area was emphasised by several speakers.
Opening the debate, the host MEP Roberta Metsola underlined the role of informal and non-formal learning environments in gaining new skill sets, such as media literacy. She highlighted that learning is a lifelong process and education goes beyond entering the labour market after graduation. The importance of constantly updating skills in a fast-changing world was also underscored by MEP Julie Ward. “We need transferable life skills that enable people to respond to different situations in which they find themselves,” she said, explaining that this meant not only skills needed by employers, but also skills that allow learners to become active citizens.
Youri Devuyst, Senior Expert at the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission, outlined the three main objectives of the new European Education Area: to give a real boost to learning mobility, to eliminate the barriers to the creation of a genuine European learning space, and to ensure that education systems are inclusive, lifelong-learning-based an innovation-driven. Several initiatives released in the past few weeks will help achieve these aims – such as the proposal for new Erasmus+ programme and proposals for Council Recommendations on mutual recognition of diplomas and study abroad periods, language learning and Early Childhood Education and Care. “What is essential to realise the European Education Area is the input of all stakeholders – teachers, youth workers and adult education centres,” he emphasised.
Other speakers brought their perspectives on learning environments, ranging from formal to non-formal and informal. Caroline Kearney from European Schoolnet shared the example of the Future Classroom Lab, a reconfigurable learning space which encourages active participation of pupils. Gina Ebner from the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) looked at non-formal learning environments in adult education, such as Swedish folk high schools functioning as community learning centres. She also outlined the multiple benefits of family learning, which create a win-win for both children and parents.
Looking at the recognition of learning outcomes acquired in non-formal and informal learning, Adam Gajek from the European Students Union (ESU) emphasised the importance of trust in validation processes both by learners and stakeholders. “The problem is not in our wallets but in our heads,” he said, calling for a promotion of validation procedures at all levels.
The many commonalities between formal, non-formal, and informal settings were evident. Although coming from different sectors, participants acknowledged the need to work together towards a 21st century definition of learning environments. The practices showcased were excellent examples of ways to modernise formal education and showed how adapting the classroom space is a useful step, but not enough by itself. As MEP Julie Ward noted, outdoor and out-of-classroom activities are just as important as other learning environments. The call for more cooperation between sectors was strongly supported by Ms Thérèse Zhang, from the European University Association, who stressed the need for a more integrated approach to lifelong learning.
Discussions on how to define learning environments in the modern era and promote collaboration between formal, non-formal and informal learning spaces will continue at the Lifelong Learning Platform’s Annual Conference “Lifelong Learning Culture: A partnership for rethinking education” taking place in Vienna on 5-6 July, as well as at future meetings of LLL Interest Group this year and the 2018 LLLWeek taking place at the European Parliament on 3-7 December.
On the 17-18th of May, DIGIT partner UPI, an Adult Education Centre, hosted the 2nd DIGIT partner meeting in in Žalec, Slovenia where partners got together to discuss upcoming project steps. After a series of FOCUS groups carried out in the partner countries, the data gathered is feeding into the development of the DIGIT Manifesto “Tips on how to stay safe online” which is being put together by Dlearn (European Digital Learning Network) based in Italy. The second part of the manifesto will include “Didactic and Pedagogical guidelines for educators” developed by partner organisations UPI and DOMSPAIN. The partnership also discussed the first steps to creating a training strategy leading to an online training programme using open educational resources (OERs) which will be pilot tested by adult educators and adults brought together by the different project partners.
On 2 May, the European Commission released its proposal for the 2021-2027 EU Multiannual Financial Framework. The Lifelong Learning Platform welcomes the steps towards a rational adjustment of spending in areas such as agriculture and the commitment to double the budget of Erasmus+ – a commendable first step to boost the inclusiveness and accessibility of this iconic EU programme in the field of education, training and lifelong learning. However, instead of an even more ambitious vision for the future of Europe, where investing in people and their opportunities for personal growth is the guiding principle, the proposal limits itself to a fearful vision where the narrative of ‘security and defence’ wins the day.
LLLP, on the contrary, calls the EU leaders to focus on empowering citizens. Such empowerment can only be achieved if citizens rights – being them human, social and economic – are fulfilled through an EU budget that puts learning at its heart; learning about and with the EU, learning from others, learning as a means to support personal development and well-being of citizens, as well as reskilling and upskilling. We call upon the EU to base its future financial framework on the following principles:
Education, research and innovation as the only viable long-term solutions for the EU to ensure both economic competitiveness and social cohesion.
Well-coordinated cooperation and peer learning between Member States and all relevant stakeholders so they can learn from each other, exploring and upscaling innovative practices in education, training, lifelong learning, research and innovation.
Quality learning mobility and culture awareness for learners of all ages and backgrounds as paramount to the future of EU given its potential to foster a sense of European identity and enhance citizens’ personal and professional development.
Adequate funding for pan-European civil society organisations in order to support their valuable work with and outreach to citizens, helping to build trust in European cooperation, promote awareness of EU programmes, and channel people’s concerns into the EU policy-making process in an effective, well-targeted way.
The LLLPlatform welcomes the provisions outlined in the three initiatives of the package. The Commission showed an interesting level of ambition, and we are glad to see that an automatic mutual recognition of diplomas and learning periods – especially for pupils – is being foreseen in the EC’s communication. LLLP furthermore approves the willingness to establish a network of European Universities, as long as it builds on the already successful existing initiatives (e.g. Erasmus Mundus Master Degree) and it is founded on inclusiveness. LLLP strongly emphasises and welcomes the synergies between education and culture, as outlined in the new Agenda for Culture, in particular if it would bring about a rethinking of the PISA tests and shifting the focus from STEM to STEAM. Finally, on a transversal note, we are also happy to note that the narrative of “lifelong learning” has come to substitute the term “education”, too narrow.
However, we would like to call upon all Member States and the European institutions to ensure the lifelong learning perspective is preserved and the cross-sectoral cooperation enhanced. The LLLPlatform flags that non-formal and informal learning environments could be further developed by the communication, to reflect a more holistic learning approach. While education for all seems to be an EU priority, such initiatives should reflect the demographic situation of the European societies and the needs of different age groups. Aware that education and training are a Member States competence, the Platform calls for adequate instruments to render these initiatives truly actionable. As such, the Communication risks to fall short in ensuring that clear targets with quantitative and especially qualitative measures are achieved.