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New Council conclusions on educational matters

The Council of the European Union has published a Council conclusion on the global dimension of European higher education. The policy declaration puts a strong focus on student and staff mobility, further internationalisation of curricula and the establishment of strategic partnerships and capacity-building.

The Council invites EU member states to continue promoting two-way international degree and credit mobility for students as well as to provide necessary support for research and staff mobility within and outside the EU. In addition, the Council calls for further promotion of learning outcome-focused transparency tools outside the EU such as the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), the Diploma Supplement and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

Moreover, the Council conclusion highlights the importance of ‘internationalisation at home’ attempts and digital learning for those who cannot participate in physical mobility. In this regard, internationalisation is to be achieved through internationally experienced and competent staff and research members, increased opportunities for language learning as well as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Open Educational Resources (OER).

In light of the current economic crisis, a particular focus is put on the promotion of transferable skills, the stimulation of entrepreneurship and innovation, and the efficient and effective use of public investment in higher education.

A further Council conclusion on effective leadership in education takes note of the Commission’s communication Opening up Education (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, September 2013). Acknowledging the objectives of the Commission’s communication, the Council encourages EU member states to provide the necessary framework for a greater professionalisation of educational leadership as well as the stimulation and creation of innovative teaching through usage of ICTs and OER.

Council conclusions are political statements without binding legal effect. However, they set the direction of policies. In educational matters, the traditionally path a way for further cooperation between member states through the open method of coordination which is characterised by the setting of guidelines, benchmarking and sharing of best practices among member states.

Council conclusions on the global dimension of European higher education

Council conclusions on effective leadership in education

European Commission - Press release