EU funding for excellent teachers

Nieuws | de redactie
19 september 2012 | Initiatives like ‘Teach First’ deserve financial support from the European Social Fund. European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said this at a press conference on Tuesday. The occasion was the launch of an expert group on modernisation of higher education.

European Commissioner Vassiliou: “Everybody remembers a teacherwho inspired or motivated them. With the help of the high levelgroup I want to ensure that every student, regardless where theylive or study in Europe, will benefit from excellent teaching.Teaching excellence is also a fundamental requirement foridentifying and supporting sustainable pathways out of the currentcrisis. Teachers need to be retrained all the time, theirknowledge needs constant updating. Within the European Social Fund,we see a development in this direction.”

As a  reason for venturing into the topic of education, theEuropean Commission stated that “Member States are not investingenough to modernize their higher education.” In contrast Europeaneducational initiatives have paid off well: for example the Bolognaprocess and the upcoming European multidimensional ranking system,due to be published in 2013.

Equity guaranteed

Asked why the EU expert group would succeed where Member Statesare lacking progress, Mary McAleese, the chair of the group,modestly answered “we will just gather the best evidence topersuade Member States of the value of investing in goodteachers.”

The European Commission wants to  convince nationalgovernments of the long term effects of investments in education.Commissioner Vassiliou: “Investing in excellence is not incontradiction with austerity measures. We want to guarantee equity,that’s why I am cautious about the current tendency to raiseeducation fees. Member States should at least organize a system ofscholarships or student loans.” 

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