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Supporting and improving education and culture in Europe
The cultural programme has officially started on 17 January in the Latvian capital and will start on 31 January in Umeå. Rīga has opened its festivities with special events at museums, cafes and other venues, including exhibitions on Baltic amber and on the impact of the First World War on culture. The launch of Umeå 2014 will take place over the weekend of 31 January to 2 February, day and night, with the opening 'Burning Snow' ceremony on Saturday as a high point. The city's residents will gather with guests from all over Europe to witness the launch of the year.Read more
It is a source of frustration all too familiar to cultural and creative businesses across Europe. They painstakingly craft a solid business plan, but when they go to their bank and ask for a loan to turn their brilliant entrepreneurial idea into a profitable venture, all but the biggest enterprises usually find the door firmly shut. A new study published by the European Commission finds that a mismatch in supply and demand in the loans market means creative businesses are missing out on billions of euros in credit. In the next seven years, the financing gap could reach up to €13.4 billion, the study warns.Read more
The best public support systems for promoting and giving advice to higher education students about opportunities to study or train abroad are in Germany, Belgium, Spain, France and Italy, according to the first EU 'Mobility Scoreboard'. The Scoreboard is part of the European Commission's response to a call by Member States1 to remove obstacles to studying and training abroad as part of wider efforts to help young people gain the skills and experience they need to increase their employability.Read more
Member States must shift from a box-ticking approach and upgrade their quality systems if they want to improve the performance of universities and vocational colleges, according to two reports published by the European Commission on quality assurance in higher education and vocational training. The reports highlight that, although progress has been achieved, further reforms are needed to ensure a 'quality culture' so that teaching is more closely aligned with labour market realities and societal needs. They also call for more emphasis to be given to international cooperation and for students to have a greater say in decision-making.Read more