Ei-iE

The European Commission launches its communication ‘Opening up Education’

published 10 October 2013 updated 14 October 2013

On 25 September 2013 the European Commission launched its communication 'Opening up Education' together with a staff working document. The aim of the communication is to boost innovation and digital skills in schools and universities.

On 25 September 2013 the European Commission launched its communication 'Opening up Education' together with a staff working document, it is available at http://ec.europa.eu/education/news/doc/openingcom_en.pdf.

The aim of the communication is to boost innovation and digital skills in schools and universities. In particular, the problem identified according to the Commission is that more than 60% of nine year olds in the EU are in schools which are not digitally equipped.

Higher education is also addressed in the communication, and it is emphasized that as the number of EU students is set to rise significantly in the next decade, universities need to adapt traditional teaching methods and offer a mix of face-to-face and online learning possibilities, such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

Together with the Communication the Commission launched a new website, Open Education Europa, to allow students, practitioners and educational institutions to share free-to-use open educational resources. It is available at http://www.openeducationeuropa.eu/.

Three main areas are identified:

Ø  Creating opportunities for organisations, teachers and learners to innovate;

Ø  Increased use of Open Educational Resources (OER), ensuring that educational materials produced with public funding are available to all; and

Ø  Better ICT infrastructure and connectivity in schools

Initiatives linked to Opening up Education will be funded with support from Erasmus+, the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, and Horizon 2020, the new research and innovation programme, as well as the EU structural funds.

The impact of Opening up Education will be followed up by recommendations to be published next summer by the high level group for the modernisation of higher education.