Rethinking Education
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Rethinking Education

What is it?

The Rethinking Education initiative was launched in 2012 in order to redress education systems across Europe to cater to the increasing demand for higher skills and to reduce unemployment.

The initiative has three core focus areas for reform:

  • quality,
  • accessibility, 
  • funding.

These reforms should be designed to:

  • increase basic skills levels,
  • promote apprenticeships,
  • promote entrepreneurship,
  • increase foreign language skills.
Why is it needed?

With labour markets and the demand for skills changing, it is essential that education systems adapt to ensure that they are able to cater to the expected increase in demand over the next decade.

Despite investment in many countries, education systems in a number of Member States are still not efficient enough to cope with these challenges; language learning in Member States still falls well short of the target of fluency in two foreign languages.

As such, especially in view of the austerity measures in place across Europe, it is vital to ensure that educational resources are distributed efficiently and effectively with a view to modernising education.

What has been done so far?

To date, an extensive country analysis has been carried out across the EU Member States with a view to establishing sound benchmarks to contribute to developing policy on the basis of solid evidence.

The Council followed up the adoption of the initiative and the country analyses with a set of Conclusions on investing in education and training.

What are the next steps?

The European Commission will continue to pursue a variety of actions and discussions with a view to ensuring that, by 2020, education systems are equipped with new ways of teaching and learning to ensure that they can deliver the right skills for employment.

Specific initiatives include the "Opening up Education" initiative, as well as partnerships between education, business and research, and the creation of a European Area of Skills and Qualifications.