The Council adopted conclusions on effective leadership in education and the global dimension of European higher education. It also held a debate, in public deliberation, on OER (Open Educational Resources) and digital learning.
In the field of Youth, the Council adopted conclusions on enhancing the social inclusion of young people not in employment, education or training.
On 25 September 2013, the European Commission launched the Communication 'Opening up Education' to boost innovation and digital skills in schools and universities.
More than 60% of nine year olds in the EU are in schools which are still not digitally equipped. 'Opening up Education'is an action plan to tackle this and other digital problems which are hampering schools and universities from delivering high quality education and the digital skills which 90% of jobs will require by 2020. To help kick-off the initiative, the Commission launched a new website, Open Education Europa, which will allow students, practitioners and educational institutions to share free-to-use open educational resources.
This new strategy of the European Commission (11 July 2013) aims to ensure that European graduates gain the international skills they need to work anywhere in the world, and that Europe remains the most attractive destination for international students.
The Commission underlines that universities and other higher education institutions must also promote an international outlook among the 85% of students who are not mobile, so that they too acquire the international skills required in a globalised world.
The Irish Presidency (January - June 2013) came with a report that outlines what has been achieved in partnership with the Member States.
The Lithuanian Presidency (July - December 2013) presented its programme: 'For a Credible, Growing and Open Europe’.
The Council adopted conclusions on the social dimension of higher education. The Irish Presidency updated Ministers on the negotiations on Erasmus for All. Ministers debated 'Ensuring a teaching profession of the highest quality to underpin the achievement of better learning outcomes'
The study on educational support to NAMS has identified three main messages that policy makers should take into consideration while designing integration policies for NAMS through education.
Firstly, an integrated approach to inclusion is important. Targeted policy response to NAMS' needs will only work effectively in an inclusive and comprehensive education system. Secondly, identification of NAMS as a specific target group in education is not a prerequisite for having a good and comprehensive integration policy. Finally, a combination of discretion and national monitoring should be ensured for effective implementation of policies.
The council adopted conclusions on investing in education and training in response to the Commission Communication on 'Rethinking education'.
It also held a policy debate on 'Education and Skills for Jobs, Stability and Growth' in the context of the European Semester.
Europe needs a radical rethink on how education and training systems can deliver the skills needed by the labour market. The challenge could not be tougher in the context of widespread austerity measures and cuts in education budgets.
Today, the European Commission is launching a new strategy called Rethinking Education to encourage Member States to take immediate action to ensure that young people develop the skills and competences needed by the labour market and to achieve their targets for growth and jobs.