This is exactly the policy message of the Commissions ´Rethinking Education´ Communication. A first element is of course the EU Strategy for Growth and Jobs, Europe 2020 are the reform efforts. And, in addition, to ensure that the education and training policy concerns can also be given the attention they merit.
This year is decisive when it comes to the Member States´ plans for how to spend the next generation of Structural Funds. In the current programming period Member States are spending € 35 billion from the Structural Funds on education, training and lifelong learning. The bulk of the funding comes from the European Social Fund (€ 28 billion), but more than € 7 billion will be spent on education infrastructure through the European Regional Development Fund. These amounts can make a difference, if they are used effectively and for the right purposes.
The legislative framework for the period 2014 – 2020, which will soon be agreed among the EU Institutions, gives a prominent role to investment in education and training. It is now up to you, Ministers of Education, to ensure that your plans for the modernisation of education benefit from adequate funding.
The Commisioner said that the EU can help to organise mutual learning and provide the data, facts and figures that are needed to base our policies on a solid analysis.
The European Commission, in collaboration with OECD, is developing a Guiding Framework for Entrepreneurial Universities and a self-assessment tool for Universities. We intend to expand this approach and tailor it to make it work at the levels of schools and Vocational Education and Training.
On the other hand making better use of modern technologies in education and training is one of our key priorities. Later this year the European Commissioner for Education, ,the will follow up on the brief treatment of these issues in Rethinking Education, by presenting, jointly with Vice-President Neelie Kroes, a new initiative and a range of ideas on Opening up Education through ICTs.