As part of the Transversal programme of the Lifelong Learning Programme, the key activity ‘Policy co-operation and innovation’ aims to enhance the quality and transparency of education and training systems, monitor progress towards fixed objectives and targets, identify areas of concern and strengthen the collection and production of data, statistics and research across the EU.
Actions are relevant to a range of beneficiaries: policy-makers, experts and officials from national, regional or local authorities; directors of education, training, guidance and accreditation organisations; representatives of social partners; universities, academic and research institutes; and other education practitioners.
It also includes actions that support greater transparency and recognition of qualifications, peer-learning activities and co-operation networks in the field of lifelong learning. However, as these actions are addressed to specific bodies, they are subject to separate calls for proposals or other arrangements.
An annual programme of study visits runs to encourage discussion, exchange and mutual learning on lifelong learning policies at both a national and EU level. These enable those who exercise responsibility at a local, regional or national level to better understand specific aspects of education and vocational training policies in other countries.
For 2008, the programme runs from September 2008 until June 2009, with 305 programmes for over 3 000 participants from 31 countries. The average grant for participation in a one-week study visit is €1 407.
Priorities for 2008 are:
- Education systems and their values
- Education actors: pupils, teachers and parents
- School and its environment
- Vocational education and training
- Adult education
- Language teaching and learning
- Linking school education and VET
However, national authorities can focus study visits on their own priorities
Studies and comparative research
Grants are awarded for studies and comparative research that strengthen the evidence base for policy and practice in education and training.
There are a number of priorities:
- Promoting excellence, efficiency and equity in higher education, especially student access and retention.
- Identifying, assessing and promoting quality in the organisation, management and funding of adult learning.
- Addressing weaknesses in pre-school and in obligatory education, particularly in the acquisition of key competences.
- Promoting the attractiveness and quality of vocational education and training: organisation of systems and better understanding of the links between vocational education and training, higher education and working life.
- The role of creative activities in the learning process and their impact on people's capacities for innovation.