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Towards a European Education Area: Promoting Higher Education in Europe

Education and Culture
Date: Tuesday, 12 February 2019 10:00 - 16:30

Venue: Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre

In May 2018 the 5th Bologna Policy Forum concluded that in an increasingly interconnected and internationalised world, higher education is central to the future prosperity, peace and progress of the EU. This view is reflected by young Europeans; 90% consider it important to have an experience abroad, whilst 97% agree that having the opportunity to work on innovative projects with academics, researchers and companies from different countries would be useful (Eurobarometer, 2018). To enable citizens to thrive in increasingly competitive and knowledge-based economies and ensure Europe maintains competitiveness on a global stage, higher education strategies must promote innovation, internationalisation and harness digitalisation.

Building on two decades of work towards a European Higher Education Area (EHEA), the Paris Communiqué (May 2018) emphasised the consolidation of the three cycle degree structure, recognition of qualifications and quality assurance. To achieve this, a structured peer support approach was adopted, alongside the Belarus strategy 2018-2020, a Revised Diploma Supplement and recognition of short cycle qualifications as stand-alone qualifications. The Commission also rolled out two packages of initiatives in 2018 to achieve a European Education Area by 2025. Following January’s emphasis on lifelong learning, enhanced digital skills and fostering an inclusive education framework, the Communication Building a Stronger Europe: the role of youth, education and culture policies (May 2018) placed cross-border mobility, innovation-driven learning and support for Member States’ reforms at the top of the agenda. This translated practically into a strengthening of the Erasmus+ programme, an ambitious framework for European policy cooperation in education and training and better targeting of European funds.

Alongside European coordination, unlocking the full potential of the EHEA relies on efforts at national and institutional levels. Despite progress, implementation of the EHEA policies remains uneven among Member States. Furthermore, creating a truly diverse and inclusive education system presents a challenge. Current policies fail to ensure that learners from disadvantaged backgrounds can access and successfully complete higher education programmes and qualifications held by refugees and displaced persons are recognised.

Exploring the latest developments towards the realisation of the European Higher Education Area, this international symposium brings together policy-makers, higher education specialists and key stakeholders to asses the progress, implementation and success of recent initiatives. Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss current challenges facing higher education in Europe, examine existing and proposed strategies to overcome these and suggest approaches for the future. It promises to provide topical, though-provoking debate. 

Delegates Will:

-          Consider the key commitments for the European Higher Education Area

-          Assess latest measures to unlock the full potential of the European Education Area

-          Examine inconsistencies between Member States and suggest measures to promote quality and consistency

-          Analyse initiatives to promote interoperability, mobility and excellence in education

-          Discuss measures to enhance employability and address existing skill-gaps

-          Gain an insight into strategies to promote lifelong learning and vocational training and education

-          Confront disparities between the European population and representation in higher education systems

-          Explore innovative approaches to create an inclusive, accessible and flexible higher education system


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All Dates

  • Tuesday, 12 February 2019 10:00 - 16:30

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