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EU: Education Council

Volume 696: debated on Thursday 15 November 2007

Today my honourable friend the Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education (Bill Rammell) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Lord Triesman will attend the Education Council on 15 November, representing both DIUS and DCSF interests. The agenda items are as follows:


Ministers are expected to reach political agreement on the proposed European qualifications framework, following amendments agreed with the European Parliament. These amendments are in line with the general approach that was agreed at a previous council.

Ministers will be asked to adopt conclusions on improving the quality of teacher education. These are aimed at improving both teacher training and the qualifications required by teachers, which are not formalised in many European countries. The UK is content with the text.

Ministers are expected to adopt resolutions on “New skills for new jobs” and on “Education and training as a key driver of the Lisbon strategy”. These emphasise the importance of skills in the knowledge economy and the role of education and training in achieving the Lisbon goals. The education and skills contribution to the Lisbon agenda will be further discussed at an informal ministerial lunch.

It is expected that a general approach will be agreed on the extension of the Erasmus Mundus higher education programme from 2009-14. The UK supports this text. There will be an exchange of views on promoting the mobility of students, in particular regarding support for students from less favourable socio-economic backgrounds.

There will also be an exchange of views on an action plan to promote multilingualism and on a resolution on modernising universities for Europe’s global competitiveness. This resolution is to be finalised at the Competitiveness Council on 22 and 23 November.

Today my right honourable friend the Minister for Children, Young People and Families (Beverley Hughes) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The deputy UK permanent representative, Anne Lambert, will attend the Youth Council on 16 November. The agenda items are as follows:

Ministers will be asked to adopt a resolution on implementing common objectives for voluntary activities of young people. The resolution reflects one of the thematic priorities of the ongoing open method of co-ordination for youth and also contributes to the joint presidency priorities for 2007-08 of better social and professional integration of young people. The UK is broadly in favour of this document as it currently stands and particularly supports its emphasis on the positive contribution many young people make to society.

Ministers are expected to agree conclusions on a transversal approach to youth policy. The conclusions call for a more cross-cutting, mainstreaming approach to youth policy across education and employment in the context of the Lisbon agenda. The UK supports this approach.

There will be an exchange of views on better consideration of youth issues in the implementation of the Lisbon strategy and implementing the European Youth Pact. The UK believes that the Youth Pact is best implemented through the national reform programmes and is anxious to avoid any additional burdens around youth-specific reporting.