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.


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).


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.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

European Semester: The Winter Package explained

Regional policies slowed down by EU bureaucracy

After music and TV, where will the streaming revolution take us next?

COVID-19: Revised rules to encourage banks to lend to companies and households

Cloud computing under scrutiny in the EU?

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

‘Spectre of poverty’ hangs over tribes and indigenous groups: UN labour agency

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile World Congress shows off planes, trams and automobiles

5 leadership lessons I learned from doing my own ‘undercover boss’

Back to the Basics: Primary Healthcare

State aid: Commission approves €30 million Estonian measure to support Nordica in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

What the Corn Laws tell us about Brexit Britain

This Japanese TV show about work-life balance is a big hit – here’s why

Coronavirus: Using European supercomputing, EU-funded research project announces promising results for potential treatment*

WHO and IFMSA as transcendent pillars for world improvement

EU budget: Commission proposes major funding increase for stronger borders and migration

Facebook/Cambridge Analytica: MEPs pursue personal data breaches probe

How has tech been used for good in civil society? We asked the experts

This is the environmental catastrophe you’ve probably never heard of

UN’s Bachelet addresses progress and setbacks in human rights worldwide

Commission launches initiative for more sustainable cocoa production

We need to talk about integration after migration. Here are four ways we can improve it

Commission pledges €100 million to help Mozambique recover from cyclones Idai and Kenneth

Yemen: Security Council backs new mission in support of key port city truce

3 hard-won lessons from a decade of negative cleantech returns

Immigrant integration policies have improved but challenges remain

These refugee children have danced in the snow for the first time

Brexit ‘no-deal’ preparedness: Final Commission call to all EU citizens and businesses to prepare for the UK’s withdrawal on 31 October 2019

Could electric vehicles pose a threat to our power systems?

Colombia: ‘Terrible trend’ of rights defenders killed, harassed; UN calls for ‘significant effort’ to tackle impunity

Health: The neglected aspect of climate change

Post the pandemic: keeping our worlds turning

Medschool 4.0: how to succeed in the smart revolution of healthcare

Putting a price on carbon will help New York state achieve a clean energy future

UN chief welcomes new push by El Salvador’s political parties to begin fresh dialogue

Our Amazon is disappearing in ashes

Eurozone: Black economy loves the South

MEPs call on EU leaders to end MFF deadlock without giving in on rule of law

Youth and Decent Work: A Review of Today’s Facts, Challenges and Possible Solutions

At this Italian bookshop, children swap their recycling for something to read

Give (mental) health to the young health workforce

On the euro but out of it?

COVID-19: MEPs free up over €3 billion to support EU healthcare sector

Myanmar doing too little to ensure displaced Rohingya return: UN refugee agency chief

Two women threaten to tear the world apart

Uzbekistan wins its long fight against malaria, as global rates continue to rise

This is how much the US-China trade war could cost the world, according to new research

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Carbon Price Needed for Climate Change Success

Our health systems are under pressure. Here are 9 ways to remedy that

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

Integration of migrants: Commission launches a public consultation and call for an expert group on the views of migrants

Plans to keep EU budget funding in 2020 in the event of a no-deal Brexit

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity Act for a cyber-bulletproof EU”, by EU Vice-President Ansip

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

MWC 2016 LIVE: Industry looks to reduce mobile gender gap

Single European Sky: for a more sustainable and resilient air traffic management

5 ways to bridge the global health worker shortage

African economies sustain progress in domestic resource mobilisation

How can you or your organization support the Hour of Pride initiative?

The 3 traps when it comes to blockchain and business – and how to avoid them

More Stings?



  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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s