Europe’s Educational Evolution

Facing economic crisis, high unemployment, shifting demographics, and rising competition from developing economies, Europe must adjust to technological advances and new modes of working. That means focusing on education to nurture people’s talents and potential – and thus to spur economic and social recovery.

DUBLIN – Europe is grappling with great challenges – too great for any one country to address. Facing economic crisis, widespread unemployment, and rising competition from developing economies, Europe must adjust to technological advances and new modes of working – all while an aging population puts increasing strain on exhausted public budgets. In this fragile context, the European Union must focus on education in order to nurture people’s talents and potential, and thus to spur economic and social recovery.

Education holds the key not only to better jobs and stronger GDP growth, but also to the cultural, political, and social development that is needed to ensure that citizens are well-rounded and grounded enough to lead at the local, national, and international levels. By focusing on the right policies, EU leaders can ensure that Europeans’ education enables them to be articulate global citizens and potent economic actors.

The good news is that European leaders seem to recognize the value of the pursuit of knowledge. When allocating funds in the 2014-2020 European budget, EU governments wisely decided to increase funding for education and research – the only areas in which they did so. This commitment to safeguarding education and research funding should be reflected at all levels of policymaking.

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