17 février 2013

Postgraduate funding: 'So, when are you going to do your masters?'

http://bathknightblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/telegraph-logo.jpgIn recent years postgraduate qualifications have become an increasingly standard, even necessary, entry route for many careers. Why is the funding for them so poor, asks Liam Burns. The question "So, when are you going to get around to doing your masters?" is heard with increasing regularity among my contemporaries, and frequently met with the answer: when I can afford it, both in money and time. One thing’s for sure though: I’m not going to be Dr Burns for quite a while yet.
Once, not too long ago, postgraduate qualifications were something of a rarity outside of routes to academia, but in recent years they have become an increasingly standard, even necessary, entry route for quite a number of careers and professions. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 15:31 - - Permalien [#]

Foundation Forum 2013

Latest from Foundation Forum 2013 - Social and employment policies for a fair and competitive Europe,14–15 February 2013, Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland
Commissioner László Andor on social investment as a way out of the crisis

Social dimension of the EMU
If the crisis has taught us anything, it is the extent to which Member States' economies are dependent on each other. Increasingly, employment and social policies, and the attendant challenges faced by Member States are a matter of common concern, especially in the Euro zone. All these aspects represent a strong argument for a social dimension of the EMU to be developed without further delay.
In December, the European Council mandated the President of the Commission and of the European Council to develop proposals and a roadmap for ex-­ante coordination of major economic reforms, as well as for solidarity mechanisms to enhance these efforts. At the same time, the European Council has mandated both Presidents to present measures to develop the social dimension of the EMU, including social dialogue. In my view, the social dimension of a genuine EMU must be adequately reflected in the EMU's rules and governance mechanisms, to ensure that economic efficiency and social  equity are pursued simultaneously.
The proper functioning of the EMU requires that Member States work together to restore socio-­economic convergence, address employment and social imbalances that risk affecting the EMU as a whole, and set up solidarity mechanisms to support Member States in addressing those imbalances. The monetary union must be able to collectively address the key employment and social problems facing it. This requires that fiscal objectives are reconciled with employment and social ones. In practice, this also means that fiscal coordination should be supported by fiscal transfers, if these are needed to enable Member States to undertake structural reforms that will help restore growth and jobs.
While the economic crisis has been a stress-­test to the EMU, the way we reform the EMU is now a test for the entire EU integration.
Staffan Nilsson, EESC President highlights need for better functioning labour markets and more robust welfare systems

In regards to youth unemployment, the Committee currently works on the “Youth Employment Package” and welcomed the “Youth Guarantee” and the “Quality Framework on Traineeships”. These initiatives that help young people move from education to the labour market must be supported. The EESC agrees with the Commission’s priorities for tackling youth unemployment and we have just adopted our annual opinion on the Employment Guidelines. In this opinion we highlight a few additional important measures.
We need more social investment

The EESC congratulates the Commission for the launch of the "social investment package". The EESC shares the view that it is essentially impossible to "save one's way out of a crisis", and that countries can only "grow their way out of it". This means making sustainable investments in skills, infrastructure and products and promoting investment in social services. A long-term social investment and a short-term fiscal consolidation should be mutually supportive to help Europe tackle the crisis. These were my thoughts about these two complementing challenges which must be faced by the EU institutions and all EU Member States. I thank you for your attention and look forward to the continuation of the good cooperation between Eurofound and the EESC in the future!
Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore: Socially just response to crisis needed

The European Foundation’s mission

That is why the Foundation’s mission and its capacity to provide a toolkit for the European Institutions, the Member States and civil society is crucial. It ensures that the key actors in European social policy are equipped to make more informed decisions about managing the processes of change. That mission could not be more relevant than now.
This is a time when the European approach to the social market economy, which seeks to combine free markets with social solidarity and sensible regulation, is facing its biggest challenge yet. Reinforcing economic governance is essential to ensure trust in the effectiveness of European and national policies, to fulfil vital public functions, to protect citizens from the effects of unsound economic and fiscal policies, and to ensure a high level of growth and social welfare.
The Foundation’s strength is its capacity to provide timely, quality and relevant information to the EU Institutions, and especially the European Commission as well as to national governments and the social partners at EU and national level.
Eurofound’s activities cover a broad remit, touching on employment developments, quality of life issues, working conditions trends and analysis. These are the areas which impact most directly on the lives of Europe’s citizens today. Never before has the comparative work of Eurofound’s surveys, the European Quality of Life Survey, the European Working Conditions survey and the European Company Survey had more relevance as the European Union grapples with the challenges it faces in the economic and social fields.
The Foundation regularly produces publications or resources that inform decision-making between institutions at EU and national level. The ground-breaking study of the current situation of young people in Europe, focusing specifically on those who are not in employment, education or training is a recent example. Last week the Informal Council of Employment and Social Policy Ministers meeting here in Dublin Castle was given a presentation based on Eurofound’s assessment of the economic and social consequences of their disengagement from the labour market and education.
I would like to express my Government’s appreciation to Commissioner Lazslo Andor who has supported using Eurofound's conference centre facilities in Loughlinstown, County Dublin, for a series of events taking place during the course of the Presidency. Eurofound will also contribute to several EU Presidency conferences in areas related to the social policy debate. I hope that this kind of collaboration building upon the core areas of the Foundations’ expertise in the development of social and work-related policies can provide a model for subsequent Presidencies.
ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, calls for jobs, social inclusion and growth to be at the top of the European agenda

The ILO’s Global Employment Trends 2013 shows that over 200 million people around the world will be unemployed this year, with this level expected to continue rising. In addition, almost 40 million have given up all hope of getting a job and dropped out of the labour market. Young people are particularly hard hit. In the Eurozone as a whole, youth unemployment tops 22 per cent, reaching more than 50 per cent in countries like Greece and Spain.
In Ireland, people are paying a high price for cleaning up the devastating consequences of irresponsible practices in the financial sector. Finding a fair and equitable solution to the sovereign debt issue which lifts the burden from the shoulders of workers, businesses and taxpayers is a priority if Ireland and other countries affected by sovereign debt are to get back to growth and job creation.
The EU must bring real substance to the social dimension, including social dialogue, as announced in the roadmap for completing the European economic and monetary union. It should help member states implement youth guarantee schemes, improve industrial diversification and innovation, boost effectiveness of labour market services, increase job creation and strengthen social investment.
The Irish EU Council Presidency has made it clear it is moving in that direction, announcing that jobs and growth will be high on its agenda. That is good news. At the same time, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, has called for a monetary union with a human face, and is set to announce a social investment package later this month. Social dialogue is a major asset for the European Union. Unfortunately the collective bargaining systems that are the foundation for social dialogue have been weakened in several EU countries, which will make it all the more difficult for wages to stay in line with productivity.
The fact that Ireland holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU at this critical time presents an important opportunity to reassert the values of the social dialogue that played a key role in the recovery and growth of the Irish economy in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Forum brings together leading decision-makers, opinion-formers and academic experts, in a neutral setting to promote the exchange of new ideas and experiences on important issues. A programme is available. See Foundation Forum 2009, 2006, 2004 and 2002 for information on previous Forum events.

Posté par pcassuto à 15:27 - - Permalien [#]

The President's State of the Union Address and Accreditation

President Obama’s State of the Union address, delivered on February 12, 2013, generated unexpected attention to higher education accreditation. A document that accompanied the address, The President’s Plan For A Strong Middle Class & A Strong America, contained a section on “Holding colleges accountable for cost, value and quality” that stated:
“The President will call on Congress to consider value, affordability, and student outcomes in making determinations about which colleges and universities receive access to federal student aid, either by incorporating measures of value and affordability into the existing accreditation system; or by establishing a new, alternative system of accreditation that would provide pathways for higher education models and colleges to receive federal student aid based on performance and results.”
The suggestion that the federal government may consider a “new, alternative system of accreditation” was covered in publications including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed and USA Today, all of which quoted the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). It also generated stories critical of the current system of accreditation in publications such as the American Enterprise Institute’s AEI Ideas.
The articles noted the unexpected nature of this discussion of accreditation accompanying the State of the Union address, which CHEA President Judith Eaton termed “startling.” “We understand the importance of the issues of affordability,” Eaton told USA Today. “But all the talk has been about, 'We want to make the existing system [of accreditation] work differently,' not (that) 'We need a different system.'”
Eaton and others quoted in the various articles said that they were unsure what next steps would be for the Administration. However, Inside Higher Ed quoted Amy Laitinen, Deputy Director for Higher Education at the New America Foundation, saying that “I think it’s a pretty big signal of where they [the Administration] want to go.”
CHEA will follow this issue closely and will keep member institutions and recognized accrediting organizations informed on any developments.

Posté par pcassuto à 15:21 - - Permalien [#]

The MyUniversity-project Super Portal is now operative

GUNi LogoThe MyUniversity-project launched its European Union Super Portal at the end of last year in order to provide a platform for the interaction of Higher Education cross-border initiatives. Thus, students and Universities from across Europe can participate in an active environment and discuss issues related to higher education, thus sharing opinions and providing feedback.
The first threads set for open discussion are: What is the added value of distance learning for students? And How to promote sustainability. The Portal also offers direct links to the universities that participate in the trial sessions of this program.
The end-user universities of the MyUniversity-project are: International Business School (Bulgaria), University of National and World Economy (Bulgaria), University of Vilnius (Lithuania), Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (Slovakia), Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (Slovakia), University of Presov in Presov (Slovakia), Rey Juan Carlos University (Spain), University of León (Spain), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain), Universitat de Barcelona (Spain), Universitat de Girona (Spain), Universitat de Lleida (Spain), and Stockholm University (Sweden). For more information, follow this link.

Posté par pcassuto à 15:16 - - Permalien [#]

The European Commission launches U-Multirank

GUNi LogoFive hundred universities from Europe and the world will take part on this new international university ranking
The European Commission launched last December 2012 its new ranking, entitled U-Multirank, which was officially introduced at a conference in Dublin (Ireland) last January 2013. This new system differs in the previous ones by rating universities according to broader range and performance factors, and it has a more user-friendly guide. Furthermore, it is based on objective criteria and data.
will rate universities in five different areas: reputation for research, quality of teaching and learning, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer, and regional engagement.
For more information, follow this link.

Posté par pcassuto à 12:18 - - Permalien [#]

New EAEA project ARALE tracks the keys to successful adult education campaigns

European Association for Education of AdultsText: Tania Berman. EAEA´s new project Awareness Raising for Adult Learning and Education (ARALE) aims to collect best practices of awareness raising and advocacy campaigns for adult education in Europe. The project got its kick-off meeting on the 4th of February 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
ARALE is a one-year project funded by the European Commission´s Grundtvig programme. Its objective is to analyse the criteria for success for adult education campaigns targeting policy-makers, general public or specific target groups. These campaigns will serve as a basis to determine key conditions and tools to create successful adult education campaigns.
The kick-off meeting took place in the cosy and beautiful office of the Danish Adult Education Association (DAEA), one of the three partners of the project. Other partners include EAEA and the Estonian Non-Formal Adult Education Association (ENAEA).
Key issues discussed

The central topic of the kick-off meeting was how to gather best practices and which kind of campaigns to look for. A questionnaire will be sent to all EAEA members and other adult education stakeholders to ask them to share their best practices.
The project´s dissemination was also discussed; the results will be online, an information leaflet will be drafted and a final report of the project published at the end of the year. Based on the research results, a final conference will gather around 80 participants from all over Europe and let them discuss further in workshops how to best campaign for adult education.

Posté par pcassuto à 12:07 - - Permalien [#]

FOLAC's chair to the UNESCO board?

European Association for Education of AdultsAmelie von Zweigbergk, the new chair of EAEA's Swedish member organisation FOLAC (Folkbildning - Learning for Active Citizenship), has been selected as the national candidate for the UNESCO Executive Board.
Ms von Zweigbergk has a long experience from politics. She has served as State Secretary to several ministers in the Swedish Government. She has also been a Project Manager in charge for large public awareness campaigns on health and equality issues. Appointed by the Minister for Education, she is currently conducting a study on Swedish vocational education.

Posté par pcassuto à 12:05 - - Permalien [#]

Programa de visitas de estudio 2013/2014

Publication coverPrograma de visitas de estudio 2013/2014 para especialistas y responsables de toma de decisiones en educación y formación profesional
Acerca del programa de visitas de estudio

El programa de las visitas de estudio para especialistas y responsables de toma de decisiones en educación y formación profesional, integrado en el programa para el aprendizaje a lo largo de la vida. 2007-13 (LLP), es una iniciativa de la Dirección General Educación y Cultura de la Comisión Europea. Su objetivo es apoyar el desarrollo de políticas y la cooperación a escala europea en el ámbito del aprendizaje permanente, particularmente en el contexto del proceso de Lisboa y la agenda sobre educación y formación 2020 (ET 2020), así como en los procesos de Bolonia y Copenhague y sus sucesores.
Desde el 1 de enero de 2008, el Cedefop coordina, en nombre de la Comisión Europea, las visitas de estudio para especialistas y responsables de toma de decisiones en educación y formación profesional para el periodo 2008 - 2013. Una visita de estudio consiste en una breve visita, de tres a cinco días, para un pequeño grupo de especialistas y responsables de la política educativa que representan a varios grupos de educación y formación profesional. Se trata de partes interesadas que quieren examinar un aspecto particular del aprendizaje permanente en otro país. El perfil de un participante se corresponde principalmente con una de las siguientes categorías:
• responsables de formación de empresas;
• directores de instituciones, centros y escuelas de educación y formación profesional;
• directores de centros de orientación;
• directores de centros de validación o acreditación;
• inspectores de educación y formación profesional;
• directores escolares, formadores de profesores
• jefes de departamento;
• directores de recursos humanos;
• propietarios/directores de PYME;
• asesores pedagógicos u orientadores;
• representantes de cámaras de comercio/industria/artesanía;
• representantes de redes y asociaciones de educación y formación profesional;
• representantes de servicios educativos, oficinas de empleo o centros de orientación;
• representantes de organizaciones de empresarios;
• representantes de autoridades locales, regionales y nacionales
• representantes de sindicatos;
• investigadores.
Normalmente, los grupos están compuestos por 10 a 15 participantes. Las visitas de estudio se organizan tanto a nivel local como regional y se coordinan por la Agencia Nacional.
Ofrecen un foro para el debate, el intercambio y el aprendizaje sobre temas de interés común y sobre las prioridades nacionales y europeas. El intercambio de ideas y prácticas innovadoras contribuye a que los participantes fomenten la calidad y la transparencia de sus sistemas educativos y de formación.
Esta publicación abarca las visitas de estudio que tendrán lugar entre septiembre de 2013 hasta junio de 2014 y resumen las categorías temáticas bajo las cuales están agrupadas. Las visitas de estudio están clasificadas por tema en orden cronológico, estructuradas en torno a dos procesos de selección, de septiembre de 2013 a febrero de 2014 y de marzo a junio de 2014.
Encontrará las descripciones completas de las visitas en el catálogo de visitas de estudio que está disponible online en http://studyvisits.cedefop.europa.eu. Igualmente puede solicitar una copia en papel en la página del Cedefop http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/publications/aspx.
Las visitas de estudio 2013/2014 se organizarán bajo cinco categorías temáticas que reflejan y abarcan los últimos desarrollos sobre las políticas de educación y formación en Europa:
1. Favorecer la cooperación entre los mundos de la educación, la formación profesional y el trabajo
2. Apoyar la formación inicial y continua del profesorado, el personal formador y los gestores de las instituciones de educación y formación profesional
3. Promover la adquisición de competencias clave en el sistema educativo y de formación profesional
4. Potenciar la inclusión social y la igualdad de género en la educación y la formación profesional, incluyendo la integración de la población inmigrante
5. Desarrollar las estrategias de formación a lo largo de la vida y promocionar la movilidad
Las descripciones de las categoría temáticas (véase páginas 20 – 33), presentan el contexto europeo así como los últimos desarrollos en los temas, destacando los aspectos para abordar el tema organizando una visita de estudio y una lista de fuentes de referencia. A su vez, se definen posibles temas para visitas de estudio y las palabras clave para cada categoría.
Las visitas de estudio exploran los temas desde tres perspectivas distintas:
• educación general (en el catálogo - el tipo de educación general);
• enseñanza y formación profesional (el tipo VET);
• aprendizaje permanente (el tipo mixto).
Cómo participar

Si desea participar en una visita, rogamos se ponga en contacto con su Agencia Nacional para comprobar si reúne los requisitos de admisibilidad y otros procedimientos. Esta evalúa y selecciona a los candidatos y también facilita cualquier información o clarificación que precise. Está disponible en línea una lista de personas de contacto en su país en: http://studyvisits.cedefop.europa.eu. Después de seleccionar las visitas en las que esté interesado, deberá presentar una solicitud por vía electrónica en: http://studyvisits.cedefop.europa.eu.
En 2013/2014 se organizarán dos procesos de selección. Para las visitas de estudio organizadas entre septiembre de 2013 y febrero de 2014, puede presentar su candidatura hasta el 28 de marzo de 2013; para aquellas que tengan lugar entre marzo y junio de 2014, puede presentar su solicitud hasta el 15 de octubre de 2013. Este es el último catálogo de programas de visitas de estudio y, por lo tanto, la última oportunidad para especialistas en educación y formación de participar en visitas de estudio.
Download in the following languages: Programa de visitas de estudio 2013/2014. Studienbesuchsprogramm 2013/2014. Programme de visites d’étude 2013/2014. Study visits programme 2013/14.

Posté par pcassuto à 11:32 - - Permalien [#]

Visitas de estudio: Descubriendo el potencial de mejora de la educación y la formación en Europa

Publication cover¿Quiénes se benefician?
Entre 2008 y 2011, 7 615 personas procedentes de 33 países recibieron subvenciones de la UE para participar en 719 visitas de estudio organizadas en 29 países. Unas 500 instituciones y organizaciones de educación y formación acogieron las visitas; el 97 % de los participantes y el 96 % de los organizadores se mostraron satisfechos con sus visitas de estudio. Pero después de la visita, ¿qué hicieron con la experiencia y los nuevos conocimientos adquiridos?
El Cedefop encuestó tanto a participantes como a organizadores con el fin de recabar información al respecto.
¿Qué es lo más provechoso?

Según los participantes, el mayor provecho de las visitas de estudio fue la oportunidad de conocer a profesionales motivados y bien informados, procedentes de diferentes países, y de mantener con ellos intensos debates durante unos cuantos días. La mayoría de ellos indicaron que, de no ser por las visitas de estudio, no podrían haber accedido a semejante caudal de conocimientos sobre la educación y la formación en Europa. Los directores y jefes de estudio valoraron sobre todo la oportunidad de establecer contactos, proyectos de cooperación y asociaciones para sus centros, así como programas de intercambio para sus estudiantes y profesores. También apreciaron el hecho de poder debatir asuntos relacionados con la dirección de los centros escolares y las actividades de sensibilización comunitaria con homólogos de otros países. Del mismo modo, los jefes de estudio y formadores de profesores recibieron valiosa información sobre cómo otros países abordan problemas comunes.
Los representantes de autoridades locales, regionales y nacionales aprendieron mucho en relación con el sistema: cómo colaboran los centros escolares y los sistemas de formación profesional y de educación de adultos en otros países. Gracias a su participación en las visitas de estudio o actividades asociadas pudieron explorar en profundidad, junto con sus homólogos europeos, diferentes opciones políticas y debatir soluciones a problemas comunes.
Los empresarios (propietarios de pequeñas y medianas empresas) manifestaron que regresaron a sus países con ideas sobre el modo de mejorar el aprendizaje y la formación en sus empresas.
Download in the following languages: Visitas de estudio: Descubriendo el potencial de mejora de la educación y la formación en Europa. Visites d’étude: libérer les potentiels pour améliorer l’éducation et la formation en Europe. Study visits: unlocking the potential for better education and training in Europe. Studienbesuche erschließen das Potenzial für eine bessere allgemeine und berufliche Bildung in Europa.

Posté par pcassuto à 11:27 - - Permalien [#]

Meeting of Directors General for Vocational Education and Training

logoMeeting of Directors General for Vocational Education and Training. 20.05.2013 - 21.05.2013. Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, Co. Dublin.
The aim of this meeting is to give the Directors General for Vocational Education and Training from all Member States an opportunity to debate current topics on the European education agenda and share best practices.
Expected participants are Directors General responsible for Vocational Education and Training, the European Commission, and other relevant stakeholders. Meeting of Directors General for Vocational Education and Training.

Posté par pcassuto à 11:24 - - Permalien [#]