Mr Krasimir Valchev (right), Minister for Education and Science of Bulgaria, photo: European Union
How can more young people be attracted to participate in student exchange programmes like Erasmus +? What should policy-makers do to create 'European universities' and to help students learn languages? How to better integrate technologies into the educational process?
These are just a few of the questions which ministers discussed at the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council presided by the Bulgarian Minister for Education and Science, Mr Krasimir Valchev, which took place on 15 February 2018 in Brussels. On behalf of the European Commission, the Commissioners for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics and for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen participated in the meeting.
The ministers discussed two main topics – the future of the student exchange programme Erasmus +, one of the EU´s success stories, and how to modernise education systems in line with developments in today´s society.
Commenting on the outcome of the meeting, Mr Valchev said:
"Erasmus+ has been one of the most renowned, celebrated and successful EU programmes over the last 30 years, supporting over 9 million Europeans by developing their professional and personal capacities and strengthening European identity and values. Our ministerial debate makes me confident that also after 2020, the programme will continue to provide opportunities for Europeans to study, train and gain experience and knowledge abroad."
At the press conference following the meeting, Mr Valchev added that any new initiatives in the area of education should be as inclusive as possible. He reminded the audience that helping young people acquire the skills they will need for the future is one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency. This would make it easier for them to find their place on the labour market of tomorrow. At the same time, our society as a whole would be able to address negative trends like false news and cyber threats.
The full intervention of Mr Valchev's at the press conference, in which Commissioner Navracsics also took part, can be followed here.
All videos and photos are available here.
The full overview of the discussions at the meeting is here.