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Brussels, 4 May 2006

Berlin plays host to the European launch of the Lifelong Learning Programme

The European launch of the Lifelong Learning Programme, the flagship EU funding programme in the area of education and training, will take place at a two-day conference under the German Presidency of the European Union on 6 and 7 May 2007 in Berlin. The conference is organised by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with support from the European Commission. The Programme will cover the period 2007-2013, and is the first European funding programme to cover the full range of learning opportunities from childhood to old age.

The Lifelong Learning Programme is the successor to the earlier Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and eLearning programmes, and its legal base was adopted on 15 November 2006 by the European Parliament and the European Council. The Programme has a budget of EUR 6 970 million for the period of the 7 years from 1 January 2007 to end December 2013. This will be used to fund projects and activities that support millions of individuals to study, train and teach abroad, and that foster interchange, cooperation and mobility between education and training institutions and systems within the EU, helping them become a world quality reference.

The two-day launch conference aims to inform people about the opportunities available under the new Lifelong Learning Programme and to discuss its contribution to European policy in the field of education and training. It also provides a platform to highlight the successes of the previous education and training programmes and to honour excellent projects.

Ján Figel’, European Commissioner in charge of Education, Training, Culture and Youth, said: “Education and training are the cement that binds societies together in the face of economic and demographic change, and with the possibilities it offers, the new Lifelong Learning Programme is an important part of the mix. It is also fortuitous that the Programme is launched in the year of the twentieth anniversary of the Erasmus scheme — for me, this underlines the continuity and effectiveness of Community action in the field of education and training."

During the conference, Lifelong Learning Awards will be offered to the three best projects in each of the former programmes Comenius, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig, Jean Monnet and Lingua.

The Lifelong Learning Programme is a framework programme built on four thematic sub-programmes and two supporting cross-cutting programmes. Grants and subsidies will be awarded to individuals and to projects under each of these to support the trans-national mobility of individuals, to promote bilateral and multilateral partnerships, or to improve quality in education and training institutions and systems.

The four sub-programmes are:

  1. The Comenius programme (at least 13% of the budget; 906 million EUR) addresses the teaching and learning needs of all those in pre-school and school education up to the level of the end of upper secondary education, and the institutions and organisations providing such education;
  2. The Erasmus programme (at least 40 % of the budget; 2,788 million EUR) addresses the teaching and learning needs of all those in formal higher education, including trans-national student placements in enterprise, and the institutions and organisations providing or facilitating such education and training;
  3. The Leonardo da Vinci programme (at least 25% of the budget; 1,743 million EUR) addresses the teaching and learning needs of all those in vocational education and training, including placement in enterprise of persons other than students, as well as the institutions and organisations providing or facilitating such education and training;
  4. The Grundtvig programme (at least 4% of the budget; 279 million EUR) addresses the teaching and learning needs of those in all forms of adult education, as well as the institutions and organisations providing or facilitating such education.

These four pillars are supported by a ‘transversal programme’, which consists of the following four key activities:

  • policy cooperation and innovation in lifelong learning;
  • promotion of language learning;
  • development of innovative ICT-based content, services, pedagogies and practice for lifelong learning;
  • dissemination and exploitation of results of actions supported under the Lifelong Learning Programme and previous related programmes

Finally, these actions are complemented by the new Jean Monnet programme, which supports university teaching and research in the field of European integration worldwide.

The European Commission will also be present at a stand at a Learning Festival which will be held in Berlin's new Central Station, also on 6 – 7 May.

More information:


18 prize-winning projects in random order

Lifelong Learning Programme- European Launch Conference, Berlin

Comenius – school education

Group Scolar Vasile Pavelco, Iasi, Rumania: Socio-Professional integration of pupils with speaking and hearing disabilities

This Comenius School Partnership" developed solutions to two major problems: the successful integration into professional life and the learning of a foreign language of pupils with speaking and hearing disability.
Richard von Weizsäcker Berufskolleg, Lüdinghausen, Germany: Early technical education

In the Comenius Multilateral Project "Early technical education" partners from pedagogical institutes, universities and industry in different European countries developed teaching materials that can be used in practice when explaining technical phenomena to children aged 3-12.
Nyströmska Skolan, Söderköping, Sweden: Democrisis

The Comenius School Partnership "Democrisis" motivated young people to participate in political life at school, local, European and global level. Secondary students from 5 countries analysed the threats against democracy and discussed issues like reintroducing and reconstructing democratic institutions and structural obstacles to the political participation of disadvantaged groups.
Erasmus – higher education

Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

In relation to the total figure of students inscribed per university, the Humboldt University of Berlin heads the statistics on the percentage of incoming Erasmus students and lecturers.
University of Granada, Spain

The University of Granada heads the latest Erasmus statistics in absolute figures in students' mobility and holds fourth place in terms of lecturers.
Curriculum Development Project "EMDOLA – European Master's Degree in Oral Laser ApplicationsEMDOLA (European Master's Degree in Oral Laser Applications) is an outstanding curriculum development project due to its innovative character (use of laser technology by dental practitioners) and for rewarding a triple degree from the three participating universities: University of Liège, Belgium, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France and RWTH Aachen University, Germany.

Leonardo da Vinci – Vocational training

MAN Diesel SE; Germany, Industrial-technical trainees are trained in Danish companies

Between 2005 and 2007, 20 talented industrial technical trainees from 9 different training professions in their third or fourth year of training at the German company MAN Diesel SE, spent three weeks in the sister company in Denmark. Working in several profession mixed international teams, they got a deeper insight into the sister company's processes and production flows, improved their professional, linguistic and personal skills and competences, as well as the relations between trainees and employees in the companies in the two countries.

3S Research Laboratory: Austria, The Vocational qualification transfer system - VQTS
Towards a ‘European workspace’ – In the spirit of the European credit transfer system in Vocational Education and Training (VET) (ECVET) "the Vocational qualification transfer system - VQTS" project increased the recognition of skills and qualifications in the mechanical engineering sector on a European level. The main result of the VQTS project is a systematic procedure of international transfer of acquired qualifications.

European Aluminium Association: Belgium; AluMatter

The project AluMatter answers to the need for modern comprehensive training materials to train technicians, engineers and designers with good skills and knowledge in aluminium fabrication technology. With the support of the aluminium industry and the academic world, an easily accessible e-learning course has been developed and will contribute to help promote the use of aluminium in various sectors.
Grundtvig – Adult Education

Associazione Lunaria, Rome, Italy: Still Active!

The Multilateral Project "Still Active! - Performing Voluntary Service after 55 Years Old" developed the concept of and operational approaches to implementing an international voluntary service for older people. This voluntary work is not only conceptualised as a way to be active and useful to others, but also as a recognised vehicle for informal learning.
Her Majesty's Prison Maghaberry, Northern Ireland, UK: MABEL

The first aim of the Learning Partnership "MABEL - Multi-disciplinary Approach to Adult Basic Education and Learning in Prisons" was to develop and to explore a multidisciplinary approach to basic education in prisons. Central to this Learning Partnership was that also the prisoners participated actively in the cooperation and produced three collaborative magazines, called "Open Doors".

AIPC – Pandora, Madrid, Spain: IMPATH
The Grundtvig Learning Partnership "IMPATH – Immigrant Pathways" aimed to improve the support for immigrants. The partners analysed the immigration process in each of the partner countries in France, Ireland and Finland , evaluated the social conditions, resources and methodologies used, and exchanged best practices in helping immigrants to integrate better in society and fight their discrimination.

LINGUA – Language Learning
Euroinform Ltd: (Bulgaria) Listen and Touch: A basic English course for the visually impaired

The project developed a methodology to teach foreign languages to blind and visually impaired adults. These methods were based on a communicative approach that had not been previously trialled with blind learners. A multi-sensory approach using the four senses available to blind people (hearing, smell, taste and touch), and the additional use of the total physical response method, provided alternative techniques to the use of visual stimuli.
University of Roma La Sapienza: The Dinocrocs Grow Up (Adventures of Hocus and Lotus)

The project applied the developmental principles of psycholinguistics in teaching languages to young children. It produced a complete set of language teaching materials for children aged between three and eight. The materials include booklets, songs, animated cartoons, magic kits and teacher guides. The cartoon characters, Hocus and Lotus, are part-dinosaur, part-crocodile and have a common European background.
Nottingham Trent University: ALLEGRO (Access to Language Learning by Extending to Groups Outside)

The project contributed both to co-operation within the educational sector and to the establishment of partnerships with a range of social services previously uninvolved in language teaching. Over 60 groups of language learners across the partner countries were involved in a wide variety of language learning activities, from short taster sessions to longer courses. It had a very positive effect on the chosen target groups (all of whom may be regarded as “non-traditional” language learners) by making them aware of the benefits that can accrue from knowledge of foreign languages.

Jean Monnet – European Studies

Professor Ariane Landuyt, Jean Monnet Chair at the Università degli Studi di Siena, Italy

Professor Ariane Landuyt has made a lasting contribution to European education with her initiative, in 1999, to create a uniquely transnational, interdisciplinary and multilingual Master in European Studies.The programme is coordinated by the University of Siena, in cooperation with Jean Monnet Chairholders at the Universities of Salamanca, Granada, Coimbra, Hannover and Oradea, the Robert Schuman University of Strasbourg, the Jagiellonski University of Krakow, Panteion University of Athens and Montpellier.
Professor Wolfgang Wessels, Jean Monnet Chair at the Universität zu Köln, Germany

The Jean Monnet activities of Professor Wolfgang Wessels constitute an exceptionally rich mixture of top-level activities in innovating teaching, advanced research and lasting organizational achievements, including the development of new learning tools, fundamental theoretical insights and, dialogues on European integration at local, regional and European level.
Professor Lenka Rovná, Jean Monnet Chair at the Charles University of Prague, Czech Republic

The Jean Monnet activities of Professor Lenka Rovná are a prime example of the broad societal role of the Jean Monnet Programme, in particular in assisting candidate countries and new Member States find their place in the European Union. In preparation for Czech accession to the EU, Professor Rovná's activities were targeting not only students, but at a much broader community, including civil servants and civil society. She created the first Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in Central and Eastern Europe.

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