Education, vocational training and lifelong learning play important economic and social roles. In the EU, the opportunities for living, studying and working in other countries make a major contribution to cross-cultural understanding, personal development and the realisation of the EU’s full economic potential.
The European Commission provides:
* Encouragement and support for policy cooperation between Member States * Funding for educational, vocational and citizenship-building programmes, such as the Lifelong Learning Programme
Currently there are three specific goals for education and training systems:
* Quality − Improve their quality and effectiveness * Inclusivity − Ensure that everyone has access to them * International Accessibility − Open them up to the wider world These goals apply to different types and levels of education and training, including: * Teacher training * Basic skills * The integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs) * Efficiency of investments * Language learning * Lifelong guidance * Flexibility to make learning accessible to all * Mobility * Citizenship education
The aim of this domain is to provide comparable data, statistics and indicators on education for the EU-27, the candidate countries, EEA countries, Switzerland, Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, USA and Japan. The main data source is the set of joint UOE (Unesco Institute of Statistics (UIS), OECD, Eurostat) questionnaires on education and other Eurostat-specific tables. The statistics refer to public and private, full-time and part-time education in the ordinary school and university system as defined in the international standard classification of education (ISCED). The statistics cover enrolments, entrants, graduates, personnel, language learning and expenditure.
The continuing vocational training survey (CVTS) provides comparable statistical results on training and non-training enterprises, the supply of and the demand for vocational skills, the need for CVT and the forms, content and volume of CVT, the use of enterprises’ own training resources and of external providers, cost of CVT courses as well as the importance of initial vocational training (from 2005 e.g. apprenticeships). The survey covers enterprises with 10 and more employees in Sections C to K and O of the statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community (NACE Rev. 1).
The first continuing vocational training survey carried out at EU level in a coordinated form covered 12 EU Member States for the reference year 1993. The second European survey was conducted in 2000/01 with the reference year 1999 in the all EU-27 Member States but Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia as well as in Norway. The third survey covered all EU-27 Member States and Norway for the reference year 2005.
The Adult Education Survey provides data on the structure of participation of adults in lifelong learning activities (age group 25-64 years old). Statistics are gradually being made available for EU countries as well as Croatia, Turkey and Norway (18 country data sets were published in November 2008). The Adult Education Survey is a pilot exercise at EU level and data includes patterns of participation in formal and non-formal education and training, reasons for participation, obstacles to participation, costs of participation as well as types and intensity of participation.
Eurostat together with Eurostudent and Eurydice have compiled statistics to monitor the progress of the implementation of the Bologna process, an intergovernmental reform initiative which also involves the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO-CEPES, as well as representatives of higher education institutions, students, staff, employers and quality assurance agencies.
Eurostat’s involvement was agreed in the London Communiqué in 2007, and the outcome of the first collaboration was the report on ‘The Bologna Process in Higher Education in Europe (2009 Edition)’ with main focus on the social dimension and mobility in the Bologna process.
The 2009 edition was presented in the 2009 Ministerial Conference. As continuation to this exercise, Eurostat has been involved in the preparation of a similar report to be presented in the upcoming Ministerial Conference in April 2012 in Bucharest, Romania.
One of the main objectives of the Bologna Declaration (June 1999) was the creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), a common European framework for Higher Education, by 2010 that indeed became reality with the Budapest-Vienna Declaration of March 2010.
In parallel progress has been monitored and made towards the goals set in the 2009 Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve communiqué for the next decade (2009 – 2012) that regard a more in-depth approach of the reforms and in particular on the following areas: social dimension, lifelong learning, employability, student centred learning and the teaching mission of education, international openness, mobility, education, research & innovation, as well as data collection, funding of the HE and multidimensional transparency tools.
Since the goal of the establishing the EHEA has been achieved, the challenge now is the consolidation of the EHEA towards the reduction of discrepancies in the implementation of the Bologna Process across the EHEA countries.
Results of the progress towards that direction are presented in the 2012 Edition of the Bologna Process paper.
Great emphasis has been paid on the mobility component of the Bologna Process now that data on the mobility of students have been collected by Eurostat and that were not available in the past.
Mobility data will be used to monitor the EU student mobility benchmark defined in the Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve Communiqué (2009): "18. (…) In 2020, at least 20% of those graduating in the European Higher Education Area should have had a study or training period abroad."