Why this conference?
Many countries in the world are still going through, have gone through and will go through periods of social upheavals which involve a collective confrontation with past painful events. Remembering, repressing, forgetting, forgiving, denying, living together in multicultural and multi-religious societies, sustaining a peaceful future after conflicts are concerns not only of politicians, civil activists and historians but for many ordinary people who hold in their memories their own hurtful experiences or those of their parents, families and/or communities.
What is the role of youth and adult education in these processes? Can youth and adult education make a difference? Can it help to process the past and bring a peaceful future?
Is it possible to change past wrongs through dealing with history or is forgetting the better option? What are the ways, methods and approaches which work for a meaningful and sustainable reconciliation based on mutual respect?
Confronting history and handling the recent past is one youth and adult education focus - an issue and a getting importance skill - that raised our attention in several regions where dvv international implements its broader activities: South Eastern Europe, Russia, Armenia and Turkey, Caucasus, Central Asia and since recently in Cambodia. Hence, being already a well-known part of the overall educational discourse, practitioners in these regions work on systematising how much youth and adult education methodology can contribute to the processing of nation and identity building; democratization processes; processing memories; suppressing memories; memory/post-memory work; reflecting the past, present and future; biographical work/eye-witnesses work; getting into terms with the past, reconciliation work and how to handle blame, denial, etc. Thus, at one side the conference would like to raise the vast variety of issues/topics in this field and from the other - to offer tools on how to deal with these issues?
During the last years through its activities the history network of dvv international is growing bigger and bigger and the involvement also of official actors in the host countries and regions is becoming more intensive. This in respect demands from the network also more responsibility and efficiency. Therefore it is of absolute importance to be able to systematise and discuss what is already achieved and evaluate and compile that knowledge and experience for the next generations of various practitioners to come.
Especially when dealing with reconciliation the role of the young people is of crucial importance, young adults are much more anxious to confront history, to overcome the traumas and to contribute for the rapprochement processes across national borders. In this respect, a special focus on intergenerational dialogue will be paid, also having in mind that 2012 is European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity.
There are several main target groups for this conference:
* History and reconciliation experts, researchers, professors from conflict regions and the international community that will bring and exchange their knowledge and experience. Generally, university partners and the ones coming from the civil society.
* Possible future partner institutions and organisations
* The worldwide network of adult educators working in the field of history, biography and reconciliation that is spread all over the world and also their partners in the adult education field;
* The history network of dvv international and their partner coming from various countries and regions to serve as multipliers of their experience and to strengthen the network though dialogue and exchange;
* Youth workers.
Through this conference and its workshops we would like:
* to share/exchange our lessons learnt and to create space for elaborating them in working practices for practitioners from different spheres;
* to empower individuals and personalities working in the history field through offering them tools and approaches to support them while interacting with their target group;
* to reach a meta-level of understanding the processing of the past through bringing experts from various disciplines from history, anthropology and ethnography and even medicine and psychology;
* to search jointly the answers of questions: What to remember? What to forget? Whom to forget? Why is this so much important? And what is my role in it?
* To initiate new project ideas, new operations and partnerships.
The conference will serve as an open forum for exchange, so we would like to offer the following formats:
* Plenary session with key note speakers;
* Thematic workshops on various issues like: memory and post-memory, identity building, biographical methods, etc.
* Practical workshops on suggesting various approaches, methods and techniques that work in the history adult education field;
* Site visits to have a real practical experience;
* Film screening and discussions.
We envision a book to be published in advance that will serve as a background material including papers from prominent experts in the field who will participate later in the conference, thus, suggesting further reading, as well our rich experience in the field.
Contact to conference team: Matthias Klingenberg, Vanya Ivanova and Yasmin Fernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under the proposed Horizon 2020 programme for 2014-20, announced last week, Brussels has set out budgets totalling EUR80 billion (US$108 billion) to push forward the EU's scientific and research strategies against the background of a difficult and dramatically changing economic environment.
The sums dwarf anything the EU has spent on research before, and may even challenge spending by the US, Japan and other research-oriented countries in some sectors. The current 2007-13 seventh framework programme is spending EUR50 billion.
But perhaps even more significant is the way in which, as the EU commissioner for research Máire Geoghegan-Quinn put it, Horizon 2020 "provides direct stimulus to the economy and secures our science and technology base and industrial competitiveness for the future".
Introducing the programme this week, she said it focused more than ever on turning scientific breakthroughs into innovative products and services that provided business opportunities and changed people's lives for the better.
"At the same time it drastically cuts red tape, with simplification of rules and procedures to attract more top researchers and a broader range of innovative businesses," the commissioner said.
In broad terms Horizon 2020, which the EU has given the acronym H2020, will provide a dedicated science budget of EUR24.6 billion, including a 77% increase in funding for the European Research Council (ERC).
There will be a budget of EUR17.9 billion for industrial leadership in innovation including an investment of EUR13.7 billion in key technologies, while EUR31.7 billion will be devoted to the major European concerns of health, food, sustainable agriculture, marine research and the bio-economy, energy, transport, resource efficiency and climate action among other things.
Dina Avraam, commission spokeswoman for education and culture, stressed to University World News that the EUR2.8 billion being allocated to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) would contribute to higher education throughout the EU.
Created in 2008, the EIT has already sponsored 1,500 students "and we want to increase this again in the next decade until 2020", she said. The current target was for the EIT to help train 25,000 higher education students, including 10,000 PhD students, in research, technology and innovation, Avraam said.
Kurt Deketelaere, secretary-general of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), an association of 21 leading research-intensive universities including Oxford and Cambridge, said H2020 could make "a major contribution to the whole set of research activities".
He said LERU was pleased to see that the existing model for ERC grants would now be used for almost all H2020 research projects.
"A reimbursement of 100% of direct costs will mean a true simplification for the participants, not only for the administrators handling the budget but also, and very importantly, for the principal investigators," he said.
It would facilitate the financial sustainability of university participation in H2020.
"The new rules should enable universities to recruit staff specifically to work on H2020 projects and thus enhance and build up the next generation of researchers in Europe," said Deketelaere.
He regretted, however, that cost declaration through full costing would not be possible anymore, noting that "a number of universities have put a lot of effort in moving to full costing".
He hoped that this would not discourage universities from using full costing for internal management and organisational purposes, because this "contributes significantly to the modernisation of Europe's higher education".
Overall, the H2020 programme will require the support of the EU Council of Ministers - that is, the approval of the 27 EU member countries - as well as the European parliament, before coming into effect and a lengthy struggle to get budget approval for all lines can be anticipated.
Several new research reports underline the disturbing trends. In addition to the College Board’s “Trends in Student Aid 2011,” which finds that institutions are providing more than $5-billion in non-need based aid, the National Center for Education Statistics recently reported that non-need institutional merit aid from four-year public and private colleges has surpassed need-based institutional aid, a reversal of the earlier emphasis on need.
On the federal level, the College Board’s Trends report found that roughly $4-billion goes in the form of tax credits and deductions to families with adjusted gross incomes between $100,000 and $180,000 a year. (The total cost of the tax breaks was $14.7-billion in 2009.)
Ironically, the big subsidies to relatively well-off families first originated under the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton. Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, a Wall Street financier not known as a wide-eyed radical, advised Clinton at the time that increasing grant aid would provide a better-targeted method of expanding higher-education access. But tax credits were seen as more politically viable, both because they benefit more powerful constituencies and because tax cuts are symbolically associated with shrinking government. A 2003 National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper by Bridget Terry Long vindicated Rubin’s position, finding that the Clinton higher education tax breaks did not broaden access to post-secondary education.
Yet the program has continued to grow. According to a new National Center for Education Statistics report, “Federal Education Tax Benefits,” in 2007-8 college tax benefits went to 47 percent of American undergraduates, compared with 27 percent receiving Pell grants. Since then, the Obama administration has expanded tax breaks both up and down the income ladder–raising eligibility levels to $180,000 but also making the tax break refundable, which benefits lower-income families who don’t owe federal taxes.
Critics rightly worry that the growing tax breaks are problematic on two grounds. Because they are built into the tax code, they don’t have to go through the discipline of surviving the regular annual appropriations process. And tax breaks for those in the $100,000 to $180,000 range, more than double the median family income, don’t usually tip the balance for students deciding whether to attend college.
The silent and automatic nature of the tax breaks make my Innovations Blog colleagues Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson ask why there isn’t more “scrutiny in this age of attempted austerity” for “government expenditure through the tax code.” Likewise, Sara Goldrick-Rab of the University of Wisconsin notes that tax credits for better-off families provide “extra money to make sure they can have a vacation that year, or they can buy another TV or a nicer car,” but “it is not for putting food on the table, and it’s not paying the heating bill, and it’s not deciding whether or not the kid goes to college.”
This state of affairs is aggravating for those of us think that the public interest in funding student aid for higher education–the reason we all pay for other people’s kids to go to school–is strongest when that aid makes the difference between attending and not attending. The frustration is compounded when important access programs for working-class and low-income students are taking deep cuts. A number of years ago, higher education authorities Arthur Hauptman and Michael Timpane suggested (in a book I edited) that proportionally more funding should be allocated to programs like TRIO and GEAR-UP, which support academic preparation and transition to college. Yet it is precisely these programs–which together in FY 2011 spent $1.1-billion–that have been subject to intense cuts during the Obama years. Couldn’t some of the $4-billion in federal tax breaks to relatively wealthy families be shifted to protect these types of programs?
I understand that families making nearly $180,000 wield more political power than those who are eligible for programs like TRIO, but at what point does it become embarrassing to policymakers to keep feeding the bloated guy when the starving man is hungry?
European Ministers adopt conclusions on HE modernisation, mobility and a renewed agenda for adult learning
Ministers meeting at the Council of EU (Education Committee) in Brussels from 28 to 29 November adopted a resolution on a renewed European agenda for adult learning and conclusions on several important HE-related issues including the modernisation of higher education and a new mobility benchmark. They also agreed to modify the EU's financing instrument for cooperation with industrialised and other high-income countries.
A resolution on the renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning
The resolution on the renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning adopted this week by Ministers aims to continue, complement and consolidate work in the field of adult learning under the four strategic objectives identified by the Council in the "ET2020" strategic framework. The objectives and short-term priorities are outlined in this document.
Modernisation of higher education
The Council also adopted conclusions on the modernisation of higher education in response to the recent Communication from the European Commission: ‘Supporting growth and jobs - an agenda for the modernisation of Europe’s higher education systems’ (published in September 2011). The conclusions welcome the communication and emphasise the crucial role of higher education in achieving the Europe 2020 strategy goals, which set the ambitious target that "by 2020 the share of 30-34 year olds who have completed tertiary or equivalent education should be at least 40 %".(Find out more about EUA’s response to the EC modernisation agenda here.
New Benchmark for learning mobility
Ministers also adopted conclusions on the proposal of a benchmark for learning mobility, to “complement the five existing reference levels of European average performance” ("benchmarks"), agreed under the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training ("ET 2020") and to be collectively achieved by 2020. The new benchmark states that by 2020, “an EU average of at least 20 % of higher education graduates should have had a period of higher education-related study or training (including work placements) abroad, representing a minimum of 15 ECTS credits or lasting a minimum of three months”. This announcement comes at a time when the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) is also debating how to refine and measure the Bologna Process mobility benchmark of 20%, agreed in Leuven/Louvain in 2009.
EU financing measures for cooperation with developing countries
The Council has also made an important modification to its funding instruments for cooperation with industrialised countries (ICI) While in the past the ICI was restricted to industrialised countries, under ‘ICI plus’ funds can also be used in collaboration with emerging countries (such as Brazil, China, India and Iraq). This has implications for the Erasmus Mundus programme, for example, and all higher education external actions that promote international partnerships. Regarding the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) it was stated that, in the future, flexibility for using funds for covering tax expenses could be granted on a case by case basis, but not in principle. This has and continues to be an issue, as for example VAT charges that incur in cooperation with university partners in developing countries had to be borne by the universities. EUA has frequently lobbied for changes regarding the DCI, most recently in the EU consultation on the financing of external actions. To find out more about all of these and other issues discussed and adopted at the Council of EU meeting, click here.
Les entreprises de moins de 5 salariés restent les principaux employeurs d’apprentis (41% des entrées). Elles embauchent davantage de jeunes sans qualification reconnue que les entreprises de plus grande taille: 44% de leurs nouveaux apprentis n’avaient pas atteint le niveau du CAP-BEP contre seulement 6% dans les entreprises d’au moins 250 salariés. Le secteur public recrute quant à lui de plus en plus d’apprentis, mais, avec 8400 entrées, l’apprentissage y reste peu développé.
Les jeunes de niveau égal ou supérieur au baccalauréat représentent 33% des nouvelles entrées en 2010, en hausse de 6 points en deux ans et de 10 points en cinq ans.