EUCIS-LLL welcomes the revision of the “Visa Directive”
The purpose of the Council Directive 2004/114 is to determine the conditions and procedures for admission of third-country nationals to the territory of the Member States for a period exceeding three months for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training or voluntary service. The implementation of this directive shows a number of weaknesses. This is why EUCIS-LLL strongly supports the European Commission’s efforts to improve the rules by revising the existing directive. EUCIS-LLL made some concrete recommendations in order to have a more coherent and efficient system in the EU.
Statement in response to the Higher Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education report to the European Commission
The Higher Education Academy (HEA) welcomes the report on ‘Improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions’ which sets out a clear vision for the enhancement of teaching and learning across Europe. Of particular note is the recommendation to establish a new ‘European Academy for Teaching and Learning’, which has been ‘inspired by the activities of the HEA…’
The HEA welcomes the report’s recognition of the importance of teacher training and continuing professional development programmes (recommendation four), which research commissioned by the HEA has demonstrated make a real difference to student learning. The report also calls for teaching to be included by higher education providers as part of promotions criteria (recommendation five), a concern that is frequently raised with the HEA in discussion around the status of teaching by UK-based teaching staff. The value of schemes such as the HEA’s National Teaching Fellowship Scheme and Student-led Teaching Awards in recognising and rewarding teaching in universities is also highlighted by the report (recommendation six). Professor Stephanie Marshall, Deputy Chief Executive (Research & Policy), said “This report provides a welcome policy-driver for reform of higher education across Europe. Putting in place mechanisms to adequately reward and recognise teaching in our universities, is essential to ensuring that each and every student receives the very best academic experience.
“HEA research has regularly emphasised the need to focus on measures, many of which are recommended in this report, that we know improve teaching and learning in higher education. We would welcome the opportunity to support the development of the proposed European Academy for Teaching and Learning and to discuss how the UK Professional Standards Framework for learning and teaching might form the basis for demonstrating how professional standards are being met.”
The report is available here.
Third meeting of the Ad-hoc WG on the Revision of the ECTS Users’ Guide
The main task of the members of the Ad-hoc WG was to discuss the parts of “Mobility” and“Transparency tools” in the ECTS Users’ Guide. The members of the group also updated and made short discussion on the first draft on “Programme design” and on “Teaching, learning and assessment”.
Next meeting of the ad-hoc WG on the Revision of the ECTS Users’ Guide will be held in autumn 2013.
Second Meeting of the Social Dimension and Lifelong Learning WG
Wile exploring the idea of peer learning and peer reviews in SD, the WG agreed to comment on the development tools of the Peer Learning for SD (PL4SD) pilot project, evaluate the milestones achieved and select countries to be reviewed and external experts for conducting the review.
Finally, the WG reached a consensus to develop a strategy/framework on SD and LLL by 2015 with clear targets to be achieved.
The third meeting of the SD&LLL WG will be held in Brussels in mid October or in early November of 2013.
Education: The best protection against an economic crisis
By Dirk Van Damme Head of the Innovation and Measuring Progress division, Directorate for Education and Skills. The insight that education is valuable both to individuals and to countries is not new. Using continuously improving data and statistical tools, we have come to understand and appreciate the magnitude of education’s impact on employment, income, health and life opportunities in general. From a purely economic point of view, private returns on investment are well beyond 10% per year, and public returns are only slightly below that figure. Fears that increasing participation and greater numbers of graduates – resulting in ever-increasing numbers of highly qualified people in the work force – would result in some kind of inflation, in diminishing returns and burgeoning graduate unemployment could not be confirmed by the data.
Education at a Glance 2013, the OECD’s reference on education indicators and statistics, for the first time provides a comprehensive set of data covering the years 2010 and 2011. The data convey a consistent, but also somewhat surprising picture. A great deal of the economic and social hardship caused by the crisis fell chiefly on less-educated individuals. The unemployment gap between well-educated young people and those who left school early widened during the crisis. On average across OECD countries, 5% of those with a tertiary education were unemployed, against 13% of those without an upper secondary education. Between 2008 and 2011 the unemployment rate for the latter group increased by 4%, while it rose by only 1.5% among the highly educated. The earnings gap widened as well: the average difference in earnings between highly educated and low-educated individuals grew from 75 percentage points to 90 percentage points between 2008 and 2011. Read more...
Eurasia: The Silk Road to Competitiveness
Today’s post is by Antonio Somma and Vanessa Vallée of the OECD Global Relations Secretariat’s Private Sector Development Division
Seen from a sweltering hotel lobby surrounded by palm trees, the view could be considered somewhat surprising. Turquoise beach? Sand covered surfers? No, try a snow swept tundra and ultra modern skyscrapers plated with 10-story TV screens. We’re in Astana, Kazakhstan and it’s February. Welcome to today’s Eurasia, land of contrasts.
Twenty-five years ago the story was different. Most of the thirteen economies of Eurasia taking part in the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme shared the same Soviet institutions which kept a lid on economic, political and social differences. Today the lid is off and divergences between countries are growing as they race to find a place in the global economy. Take the income gap: in 1990, average GDP per capita for the region was $4670 USD with the richest country four times better off than the poorest. By 2010, the gap had widened to almost seven times (if Afghanistan is excluded) between the region’s growth leader, Belarus, and Tajikistan. Read more...
The ideational background of the Bologna Process
Forget MOOCs – Let’s Use MOOA (Massive Open Online Administrations)
As colleges begin using massive open online courses (MOOC) to reduce faculty costs, a Johns Hopkins University professor has announced plans for MOOA (massive open online administrations). Dr. Benjamin Ginsberg, author of The Fall of the Faculty, says that many colleges and universities face the same administrative issues every day. By having one experienced group of administrators make decisions for hundreds of campuses simultaneously, MOOA would help address these problems expeditiously and economically. Since MOOA would allow colleges to dispense with most of their own administrators, it would generate substantial cost savings in higher education. “Studies show that about 30 percent of the cost increases in higher education over the past twenty-five years have been the result of administrative growth,” Ginsberg noted. He suggested that MOOA can reverse this spending growth.Read more...
Languages for Special Purposes Symposium
The three-day international event will focus on Languages for Special Purposes in a Multilingual, Transcultural world and will feature three keynote presentations.
The Symposium will offer parallel tracks on domain-specific languages, professional communication, theoretical and methodological issues of research and training, terminologies, specialized translation and socio-cultural issues of LSPs. The Symposium will also include a Forum for Early-Stage Researchers, allowing graduate students, post-docs and junior researchers to discuss their research and methodology with distinguished senior researchers.
For more information or to register (deadline: 30th June 2013) for the Symposium, please visit the website.
Languaging Diversity International Conference
The Conference, scheduled on 10-12 October 2013 in Naples, will prompt a reflection on:
- the relationship between language and ethnic and cultural identity
- the relationship between language and gender and/or sexual identity, and
- any form of language diversification arising from contamination/hybridization/migration of genre(s), discourse(s) and text typologies.
Abstracts (250-350 words) for 20-minute presentations should refer to any field related to:
- Critical Discourse Analysis
- Linguistic and cultural mediation
- Translation perspectives
- EFL, ESL, ELF, ESP and Corpus Linguistics
- Language crossing, switching, and mixing
- Language variation and language change
- Multimodal, digital and audio-visual discourse(s)
- Contrastive Pragmatics.
Deadline to submit abstracts: 30 June 2013.
For more information, please visit the website.