The UniteEurope project provides Social Media tools and makes software available to policymakers working on integaration of third-country nationals. Users of the UniteEurope tool can save, monitor and track specific integration cases to measure impact and to predict the effect of future decisions.
UniteEurope takes citizen generated content, mass data related to integration issues, and existing platforms, but then acts as an intelligent filter. Its aggregation architecture delivers relevant information for policy makers to support sustainable social integration.
Its grid model with multi-layer logic patterns is used for consistent categorisation of relevant integration areas (e.g. education, business, culture) in cities. Coherent layers with multilingual semantic tags, significant sources and parameters form the basis of this tool, and are supported with information on web-based dashboards and intuitive visualisations.
Additionally, identified target groups and policy makers at a European level are provided with aggregated data and key figures to monitor urban integration in Europe and identify good practices for specific areas of integration. UniteEurope supports operational integration measures and strategic policy development at regional and pan-European level.
The UniteEurope team consists of system architects, software developers, E-Government, Social Media and integration experts from leading universities, competence centres, companies and three European cities considering integration an agenda priority.
Since the financial crisis began to hit labour markets in 2008, Europe has lost more than 5.6 million jobs. In its Communication “Towards a job-rich recovery” the European Commission states that “recovering this lost ground is only possible if the EU returns to sustained economic growth, which in turn requires European industries and services to retain or regain international competitiveness. In this respect, the capability of industry and services to compete and evolve is becoming increasingly dependent on the innovative and effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT).
Despite high levels of unemployment, ICT skills shortages have been identified. The mismatch between skills available and the needs of the labour markets concern all Member States, but affect them to varying degrees. Remarkably the demand for ICT practitioners continues to grow by around 3% a year, with labour demand outstripping the supply. Depending on the scenario to become reality there could be up to several 100,000 vacancies by 2015 unless more is done to direct more young people into computing degrees and retrain unemployed people.
In this context industry-based training and certification is part of the solution to reduce skills shortages and mismatches and thereby unemployment in general. However, we are currently faced with some strong inhibitors and constraints to make this happen. Starting a career as ICT practitioner or advancing a career towards those areas of highest demand is constrained by the fact that the ICT certification world remains un-transparent with thousands of different certificates, ranging from technical ones (almost every ICT provider offers some), those offered by foundations in information management to high end certificates. Moreover they seem to live in a parallel universe to that of vocational and higher education.
The lack of transparency and quality labelling is a challenge to human resources departments in their (cross-border) recruitment processes and curricula developers interested in providing side entries for interested individuals and organisations, but most of all to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) searching for talent and very importantly also to ICT practitioners currently lacking orientation and guidance in deciding on and taking their next career step.
Progress towards solutions
Several European initiatives, involving in particular the CEN Workshop on ICT Skills, have been trying to address this issue by developing standards for competences (European e-Competence Framework) and ICT job profiles. The results of the project to be presented at this conference constitute a further step towards guidance and orientation through the certification world. Using the European e-Competence Framework it developed a European e-skills quality label, services and tools to foster transparency and guidance towards quality in the market of industry-based training and certification as it
- Provides means to distinguish different types of certification and training (by quality labels and industry-based certification and training courses against the e-Competence Framework),
- Collected and disseminated empirical information and evidence about demand and supply of e-skills in Europe to provide interested parties with an overview of areas with high demand for e-skills to better match e-skills demand and supply,
- Provides a service and tool for focused further development and certification of one’s own e-skills or those of staff members to support better job placement and recruitment in companies. For this purpose a prototype of an online landscape, self-assessment tool and web portal is offered to stakeholders interested in the further development and enhancement of the prototype towards a fully-fledged service for operation in the job placement, recruitment, e-skills further development and certification market.
At the conference leading stakeholders will discuss how industry-based training and certification can contribute to reduce ICT skills shortages and unemployment. Solutions for achieving greater clarity and orientation support through the ICT education and training landscape together with latest data on ICT skills demand and supply developments and forecasts (2012 – 2020) will be presented. Possible interactions with employment agencies and recruitment / staffing industry will be shown.
A proposal for a pan-European quality label together with criteria, processes and structures for ICT industry training and certification will be presented. The first prototype of an online support tool for ICT practitioners and stakeholders such as human resources managers will be demonstrated. These will allow stakeholders to better anticipate e-skills needs in EU labour markets and put them in a position to swiftly act upon. Recommendations for actions and governance will mark the end of the conference.
Futurium is the online platform used by the Digital Futures project to facilitate a broad reflection on future European policies. It combines the informal character of social networks with the methodological approach of foresights to engage stakeholders in the co-creation of futures and policy ideas that matter to them.
This report reviews national policies for the development of key competences at school in Europe. It acknowledges the progress made so far in implementing the key competences approach and discusses several policy challenges that are directly linked to the contribution of education and training to meeting changing skills demands: tackling low achievement in reading, mathematics and science; increasing the number of mathematics science and technology graduates, and further support for the acquisition of transversal competences such as IT skills, entrepreneurship and civics.
The report covers 31 European countries (EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Norway, and Turkey) and takes the reference year 2011/12. Information covers compulsory and secondary general education.
The Ministerial Conference "Opening up education through technologies: Towards a more systemic use for a smart, social and sustainable growth in Europe" to be held in Oslo, Norway on 9-11 December 2012.
Sufficient return on public investments in education and our ability to innovate are today more important than ever for future growth, competitiveness and strong social cohesion. The conference will constitute a unique opportunity to capture the key issues that matter for a systemic approach to educational innovations which facilitate quality 21st century education for all. Our goal is to dedicate particular attention on how education and training systems can fully reap the benefits of modern technologies so as to create innovative ways of accessing learning content, building creative learning environments and fostering virtual learning communities.
As part of the Cyprus EU Presidency Program during the second half of 2012, the Conference will bring together Ministers of Education from the Member States of the European Union, candidate countries, as well as the EFTA States. The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture will co-host the conference, in close cooperation with the European Commission. The debates will be stimulated by key notes from highly profiled international experts from both academia and the private sector and will aim at identifying good practices at national level.
Input from the recently closed EC Consultation on the topic of "Opening up Education - a proposal for a European Initiative to enhance education and skills development through new technologies" will be presented at the Conference.
ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) is an international non-profit association that aims at providing a discussion forum where researchers and others involved in communication and information research can meet and exchange information and documentation about their work.
The goal of the IITE-2012 International Conference is to provide a floor for deliberations on strategies, policies and best practices of ICT application in education, as well as on development and implementation of innovative teaching and learning methodologies for achieving EFA goals in the Member States.
The conference will become the platform for constructive dialogue on recent trends and innovative approaches in efficient use of ICT in education among policy-makers, academic community, representatives of the private sector and potential donors.
Policy-makers from the Ministries of Education, representatives of universities, practitioners from academic institutions and teacher training centres, as well as experts, educators and innovators in the field of ICT in education, coordinators of UNESCO networks, representatives of NGOs, IGOs, and private IT companies are invited to take part in the Conference.
Main objectives of the Conference are as follows:
- To overview governmental policies on ICT integration in education at local and international levels;
- To discuss and analyze best practices of the implementation of strategies, programmes and methods of ICT use in education;
- To exchange opinions on the impact of ICT on education, including ICT-enhanced teaching and learning, as well as teacher professional development with the help of information resources and technologies;
- To study major trends in open, distance and online learning on a regional scale and worldwide;
- To discover the opportunities and implications provided by Open Educational Resources (OER);
- To identify the potential and examine the existing practices in ICT application in inclusive education and gender equality issues.
Official languages of the Conference are Russian and English.
In full partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and through the generous support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, UNESCO is organizing the 2012 World OER Congress, which will take place on 20 – 22 June 2012 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
The aims of the Congress are to:
- Release the 2012 Paris Declaration;
- Showcase the world’s best practices in OER policies, initiatives, and experts;
- and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2002 UNESCO Forum that coined the term OER.
The Congress aims to encourage more governments to adopt policies that include OER and will bring together Ministers of Education/Human Resource Development, senior policy makers, expert practitioners, researchers and relevant stakeholders.
It is a 2-part event with an official negotiation component by UNESCO Member States and selected invited organizations and individuals negotiating the text of the 2012 Paris Declaration, and an open exhibition of OER practices and workshops and seminars.
ACA’s Annual Conferences have become a synonym for high-quality information, analysis and discussion on current policy and practice-related issues in the area of European and international higher education. They bring together central actors and decision-makers in higher education, such as rectors, vice-rectors, faculty and international relations staff, as well as policy-makers and practitioners from government departments, international institutions, non-governmental organisations and think tanks. And they offer opportunities for learning, exchange and networking at a high level.
The 2012 Annual Conference, organised in collaboration with ACA's Finnish member CIMO, brings together a select group of leading thinkers to address, from a multiplicity of perspectives, the synergies between four hotly debated issues in higher education world-wide: internationalisation and mobility, excellence, funding and social inclusion. The two-day conference will take place in wonderful Helsinki on June 11 and 12, preceded by a welcome reception and a social programme on 10 June. This event should draw over 300 participants from Europe and other parts of the world.