A European student just sets the question of the day: What kind of education policies are missing in Europe?

European Youth Insights is a platform provided by the European Youth Forum and the European Sting, to allow young people to air their views on issues that matter to them. The following entry is written by Arif Shala,  doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.

Arif Shala is a a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and executive director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies in Prishtine, Kosovo.

Arif Shala is a a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and executive director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies in Prishtine, Kosovo.

The present economic crises is challenging education and training systems of Europe in two major ways. First is the matter of investing in growth policies, a vital part of which are education and training policies, with the pressing issue of consolidating public finance. Additionally, youth unemployment has reached 23.2% which EU structures cannot tolerate to continue. In the economic sense, education and training exert influence on innovation and productivity which is why it is a source of growth and contributes to the employment of population, including youth.

A half of member states have stopped investing in education and training while the current crises urges them to strengthen the results of education and training systems as well as intervene by making systems relevant to labor market needs. Recent studies which evaluate the impact of investment in education are arguing for a better match between education and world of work. In changing policies the responsibility lies with national governments however the EU structures offer significant support. The year 2014 marked the beginning of the new support scheme. The new Erasmus+  program 2014-2020 which is now the only education, training, youth and sports program of the EU has been subject to a 40% increase in its budget amounting to more than 14 billion Euros.

The pie chart below shows the allocation in percentage of the Erasmus +  program 2014-2020 funds. A 77.5% of the funds, which in the mean time constitute the vast majority of funds, are allocated to education and training. Youth programs have received 10% of the funds, which is followed by student loan facility (3.5%), national agencies (3.4%), administrative costs (1.9%), Jean Monnet (1.9%) and finally a 1.8% has been allocated to sport.

pie

It is evident from the chart above that Erasmus+ will concentrate most of its funding in education and training.  This scheme will finance the mobility of 3.59 million students/vocational students/volunteers/lecturers and education staff between 2014 and 2020. Between 2014 and 2020, 11.3 billion Euro will be invested in improving the education and training landscape in Europe. Within this scheme the majority of funds, 4.8 billion, is allocated to higher education ( please see table below).

table

The second most important sector has been considered the VET- Vocational Education Training which will benefit 2.5 billion. This sum will be used to increase the employability and life skills of vocational learners. Schools will be able to spent 1.7 billion in reducing early school leaving, improving learning of basic skills and the establishment of the eTwinning, the online community offering support for teachers, pupils and school leaders.

A sum of 569 million will be used in programs addressing adult education which will be used to improve and modernize adult education programs, encourage cooperation with different sectors and evaluate the utility of non-formal and informal education. Finally, 1.7 billion Euro will be allocated to programs as needed.  Europe is spending a lot of money in education but the same problems remain. In my opinion the three factors that are not being considered are the ones that will make the difference.

Applying new technologies in education and training

The new technologies offer many ways to make learning effective, engaging and inclusive. First, these developments make it possible for education to reach more people at a lower cost. This form of learning can easily be made creative and innovative, but Europe is not using the potential of new technologies to meet the needs of learners. Technology can offer access to quality education and promote individual learning.

In the last years we have seen the emergence of MOOC, known as Massive Open Online Courses, which offer unlimited access to courses provided in the web. Unfortunately, studies show that many professionals in European universities do not even know what MOOCs are, and only 9 European Universities are involved in such initiatives. In order to encourage this form of learning EU structures are considering recognizing the competencies learnt online.

Enhancing digital competences

In order for all individuals to benefit from engaging, effective and inclusive learning more should be done to enhance their digital competencies. Gaining access to this form of learning is conditional upon possessing certain technological skills. Many experts are arguing that the “right” skills for the 21 century are the digital competencies. It is a reason to worry that only 30-35 % of students in EU countries are digitally confident.

Higher education and its components are changing fast and radically by globalization and technological developments. In my opinion this is emphasizing the ability of learners to respond to an ever changing environment by continuously learning. It is expected that the demand for higher education will continue to increase and Europe will have to learn how to respond to this demand as well as how to respond to the competition with other educational powers.

Learning styles

Learning should take place beyond the typical teaching environment and should thus focus on not just the knowledge but also in developing the skills necessary to continue benefiting and learning from experience.  In line with this it should be noted that the pedagogy underneath the concept of experiential learning is one that benefits greatly the organizations assuring that employees learn what businesses want them to learn consequently, experiential learning has been linked to positive impacts in the workplace.

This theory postulates that there are four types of learners: accommodative, convergent, divergent and assimilative. The differences between learners lie on the way they obtain and process information. Many assessment inventories are readily available and can be used to identify learning styles in all settings. It is my argument that if we fit instruction to learning needs of students/participants outcomes will be higher.

Accounting for differences in learning styles will result in providing students with more freedom in terms of choosing course objectives, content, and activities as well as how much time is allocated to each.

About the author

Arif Shala is a a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and executive director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies in Prishtine, Kosovo.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Me and China

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

China confirms anti-state-subsidy investigation on EU wine imports

Dutch voters reject EU-Ukraine partnership and open a new pandora’s box for the EU

The EU Parliament endorses tax on financial transactions

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

European Commissioner for Youth wants young people to be at heart of policy making

Parliament sets up plan to fight the 3,600 criminal rings of EU

EU migrant crisis: Germany, France and UK to show the way. Will the rest of the EU follow?

Bundesbank’s President Weidmann criticises France and the EU. Credibility at risk?

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “If we do not do properly the Paris agreement, then all 16 remaining goals will be undermined”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautions from Davos

Eurozone in trouble after Nicosia’s ‘no’

A Sting Exclusive: “Without climate, forget about peace!”, Swedish MEP Bodil Valero cautions from Brussels

Economic recovery won’t tackle youth unemployment problem

Eurozone to enter the winter…

Will ECB win against low inflation by not following Quantitave Easing?

The Chinese spirit

Why did Cameron gain absolute majority? What will he do now? Will he vote ‘yes’ in Britain’s in – out EU referendum?

Presentation of Juncker’s Investment Plan: Can 315 billion euros save the EU?

YO!FEST ENGAGES 8,000 YOUNG EUROPEANS IN FUTURE OF EU

Eurozone officials play with people’s deposits and minds

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Why Eurozone’s problems may end in a few months

Eurozone recession subsides

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ingenu steps up efforts to build LPWA networks across the globe

IFMSA and IPSF on the Health of Migrants and Refugees

EU will not deliver on promises without democratic accountability

South Eurozone urgently needs fairer distribution of taxation burden

All talk but no action against fraudulent bankers

Eurozone: Statistics don’t tell the whole story

Crimea, a wicked game of political chess and a ‘big’ coincidence

European Youth Forum welcomes strong stance on human rights in State of the Union

US, Russia oblige each other in Syria and Ukraine selling off allies

Can the world take the risk of a new financial armageddon so that IMF doesn’t lose face towards Tsipras?

European Employment Forum 2013 and not European Unemployment Forum 2014

Glaringly false reassurances about the repercussions of the EU-US free trade agreement

European Banking Union: no one is perfect

Europe united in not supporting a US attack on Syria

Commission challenges Council over EU 2014 budget

Data show EU Economy in a stubbornly subdued state

IMF to teach Germany a Greek lesson

The West definitively cuts Russia off from the developed world

The impossible end of the war in Syria

Why do medical students need to go abroad to become a doctor in 2017?

The Swiss will pay dearly for voting out fellow Europeans

What the world will look like after the Iran and 5+1 deal; the US emerges as major power broker in Middle East

Zhua Zhou: Choosing The Future

Macron plans for Europe, Brexit and banks but vague on France

Will the outcome of the UK referendum “calm” the financial markets?

The West and Russia took what they wanted from Ukraine

“CETA is a game changer for major trade agreements”. The Sting reports live from EBS 2015

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

GREXIT final wrap-up: nobody believed Aesop’s boy who cried wolf so many times

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Children Will Bear the Brunt of Climate Change: UNICEF

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

The West – the EU and the US – is writing off Turkey’s Erdogan

Fair completion rules and the law of gravity don’t apply to banks

ECB embarks on the risky trip to Eurozone banking universe

MWC 2016 LIVE: Freemium MVNO model a success, claims FreedomPop head

The Sting’s Mission

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Thank you so much your blog lists are very helpful to me.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s