In its 20-21 November 2017 meeting, the Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council adopted its Conclusions on a Renewed EU agenda for higher education
, following on the European Commission’s Communication of 30 May 2017
. Therein, ministers recognised the need to continue to modernise European higher education so that it keeps pace with a rapidly changing world and to train highly-skilled individuals that are able to ensure prosperity in the Europe of tomorrow. Member states were invited to focus on promoting excellence in skills development, addressing the needs of students and academic staff, contributing to innovation and developing further quality assurance in their higher education systems.
The Council also adopted a recommendation for tracking higher education graduates, which would enable member states to gather information on what graduates do after their studies, understand the causes of employability problems, and find solutions, such as improving quality and relevance of education and supporting students in the choice of their studies.
The Council’s Conclusions and Recommendation are strongly connected to the 14 November 2017 Communication of the Commission on Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture. In this policy document, the modernisation of European education constitutes a significant part of the actions proposed for the implementation of a European Education Area.
Further to education, the Council also:
- adopted conclusions on school development and excellent teaching;
- reached a general approach on a Draft Regulation on the European Solidarity Corps;
- in the field of culture, it adopted Conclusions on promoting access to culture via digital means;
- finally, in the field of sport, it adopted Conclusions on the role of coaches in society as well as a resolution aiming at further developing the existing high-level structured dialogue between EU institutions, member states' authorities and the sports movement.