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EU ‘higher education package’ 2024

On 17 October, the European Commission adopted its Work Programme for 2024. The new Work Programme puts a strong focus on simplifying rules for citizens and businesses across the European Union, and contains a limited number of new initiatives that deliver on existing commitments or respond to emerging challenges.

Under the next year’s planning for higher education, the European Commission proposed to work on the three main topics:

  • A blueprint for the future joint European degree, which will contribute to achieving a European Education Area;
  • Recommendations on quality assurance in higher education (moving towards a European system for Quality Assurance and Recognition);
  • Sustainable and attractive academic careers.

The work on the future joint European degree is being prepared by several pilot initiatives, which underwent their mid-term review earlier this month, ahead of presenting their final results by next spring.

In a broader policy context, the European Parliament – in collaboration with the European Commission – held a high-level mid-term review event focusing on the European Education Area on 10 October. The discussed topics included citizenship education, mobility for teachers’ professional development, equity and inclusion, automatic mutual recognition of higher education and the outcomes of learning periods abroad, and the catalyst role of the Erasmus+ programme.

The European Commission’s Work Programme also refers to a a Social Partner Summit in Val Duchesse. Organised together with the Belgian Presidency, this summit will discuss the challenges facing labour markets and businesses, including skills and labour shortages, and artificial intelligence. It can provide an important platform to discussion measures linked to talent mobility and EU’s attractiveness to talent from outside Europe based on a related public consultation held this autumn (for more details, see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, September 2023).