The last edition of the ACA Newsletter-Education Europe
presented a brief introduction to the Portuguese Presidency’s priorities. The Portuguese have now presented more details on higher education. On 16 July, Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues, Portuguese Minister of Education, addressed the Committee for Education and Culture of the European Parliament, highlighting “…the role of lifelong learning in the next cycle of the Lisbon Strategy—which will begin next year—and to begin to prepare, from this moment, its development in the period after 2010.” She sets store by the “Open Method of Coordination.” She says: “This is our priority.” She then goes on to speak about teacher education and the need for lifelong learning in this context, announcing a conference on the issue in Lisbon 27-28 September. Her next theme is the validation of non-formal and informal learning, announcing a conference on 26-27 November. She ends her talk by touching on Europe’s need to open up to the world and hopes the European Training Foundation and the new Erasmus Mundus Programme will contribute to this.
The Presidency web pages mention “establishing new and ambitious targets for Universities at the European level”, “reinforcing Modernisation of European Universities,” and of “widening the social base for the mobility of students in Europe” in the discussion about the Erasmus Programme.
The new Presidency shows an obvious concern with higher education, its place in the lifelong learning perspective and its relations to the world. In the coming deliberations on the European Training Foundation and the second phase of the Erasmus Mundus Programme, we shall see where the Portuguese presidency stands, what influence it will have and how hard it will push.
EU Portuguese PresidencyMinistry of Education