What is it?

Rethinking Education was set up in 2012 to reform education systems across the EU so as to meet growing demand for higher skills levels and reduce unemployment.

The initiative focuses on three areas in need of reform:

  • quality
  • accessibility
  • funding

Reforms should be designed to:

  • raise basic skills levels
  • promote apprenticeships
  • promote entrepreneurial skills
  • improve foreign language skills

Why is it needed?

With labour markets and the demand for skills changing, education systems need to adapt so that they can cope with the rising demand anticipated over the next decade.

Despite widespread investment, education systems in several EU countries are still unable to meet these challenges, and EU countries still fall well short of the target of fluency in two foreign languages for all school-leavers.

It is therefore vital, especially in view of the austerity measures in place across the EU, to distribute educational resources efficiently and effectively.

What has been done so far?

An extensive EU-wide country analysis has been conducted to establish sound benchmarks for developing policy on the basis of concrete evidence.

The Council followed up "Rethinking Education" and the country analyses with its Conclusions on investing in education and training.

What are the next steps?

The European Commission will continue to take action and pursue discussions designed to ensure that education systems introduce new teaching and learning methods by 2020 that will enable them to equip students with the right skills for employment.

Initiatives include:

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