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Brussels, 7 May 2009

Prague celebrates the third edition of the European Awards for Lifelong Learning

18 projects and student mobility activities funded by the EU's education and training programmes today received the 2009 European Awards for Lifelong Learning. The awards recognise the important role of these innovative and creative projects and activities in modernising education and training systems in Europe.

The European Awards for Lifelong Learning, which exist since 2007, are handed out by the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel', and the Czech Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Ondřej Liška. The award ceremony is taking place in the fringes of the annual conference on the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), 'Create, Innovate and Co-operate', held in Prague, Czech Republic.

Commissioner Figel' explained the significance of the event: "Today's prize-winning projects are outstanding and special because they show how many different partner organisations from across Europe can work together to develop creative and innovative approaches, tools and training materials in education and training. In doing so, they underline just how our Lifelong Learning Programme works to inject innovation into education and training. They will be a source of inspiration for everyone gathered here, and for our fellow-stakeholders around Europe, who can now transfer these ideas and creativity to their own activities."

18 winners from twelve countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the UK) participating in the Lifelong Learning Programme were selected from among co-operation projects and activities involving numerous European partner organisations. These projects received gold, silver or bronze prizes for their creative and innovative work in six categories: school education (Comenius), higher education (Erasmus), vocational education and training (Leonardo da Vinci), adult learning (Grundtvig), language learning and Information and Communication Technologies.

The six gold-winning projects include an initiative which developed new material and courses to help teachers become 'lifelong learners', an innovative transnational history and research network, an adult learning platform for the Roma community, a training project for specialists and students in circus arts, a language learning approach for adults with learning disabilities and an online interactive learning forum for theatre arts.

As well as being a showcase of best practices, the conference serves as an open forum for debate on what creativity and innovation in the Lifelong Learning Programme can do both to support education and training systems in Europe and to identify mechanisms that will stimulate entrepreneurship and trigger co-operation between education and the business world.

The conference is organised by the Czech National Agency for European Educational Programmes (NAEP) in close co-operation with the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and with the support of the European Commission.

To know more:

Conference website:

Find out more about the award winning projects: "Creativity and Innovation. European Success Stories", with detailed descriptions of all the award-winning projects:

European Commission: The Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP):


Award winners

Category 1: Comenius multilateral projects aim at developing, promoting and disseminating educational best practices at school. Their main results are new teacher training courses, guidance material and new curricula for initial teacher training. Comenius networks encourage the networking of educational establishments and organisations. They are designed to promote innovative practices in thematic areas of particular importance to school education in Europe.

Comenius Golden Award - The Learning Teacher

Barn- och ungdomsförvaltningen - Child and youth administration - Karlstad, SWEDEN

Teacher quality is the most important within-school factor affecting students' performance. This network focussed on the changing role of European teachers from static 'all knowing' teachers to dynamic 'lifelong learners'. It developed guidance material, organised conferences, seminars and courses which helped professionals to acquire new knowledge and skills. Its innovative thinking contributes to a successful transformation of education at European level.

Comenius Silver Award - DAF Südost – Network for German as a foreign language

Ellinogermaniki Agogi – Greek-German language school - Pallini Attikis, GREECE -

DAF Südost is an internet-based virtual community for teachers of German as a foreign language in South, South Eastern and Eastern Europe. It gives teachers access to new inspirations and teaching material enabling them to develop their creativity and innovativeness in everyday teaching. The platform continues to evolve, is a valued source for teachers and has enlarged its circle of users and members beyond the original target countries.

Comenius Bronze Award - THE GOLDEN 5: An educational intervention

Universidad de Sevilla - Sevilla, SPAIN -

Pupils often feel that attending school is imposed on them and has no value. The Golden 5 helps teachers to raise pupils' motivation by creating an inspirational atmosphere in the classroom. It supports them in turning difficult classroom situations into empowerment, addressing diversity, lack of motivation and drawbacks. The project developed working tools and created a lively network in which teachers can exchange experiences and gain new motivation. A training course has been available since 2005.

Category 2: The Erasmus programme is well-known for the opportunities it offers to study and to do work placements in another European country. It caters also for professors, business and university staff who want to teach and be trained abroad. The programme also funds thematic networks and curriculum development projects around common topics of cooperation involving a large number of higher education institutions across Europe that innovate and benefit by learning from each other.

Erasmus Gold - CLIOHnet – Creating Links and Innovative Overviews to Enhance Historical Perspectives

in European Culture - Università di Pisa, ITALY -

CLIOHnet is an innovative history network with more than eighty universities and other partners throughout Europe. Stimulating critical awareness of history, the resulting work is extremely useful for academics, learners of all ages and European citizens in general. The project has also given rise to an online research network,, which has produced a library of historical knowledge that provides a new transnational dimension to European history.

Erasmus Silver - Improving job opportunities with Erasmus

Università della Calabria - Arcavacata di Rende, ITALY -

The university aims at combating the extremely high youth unemployment in Southern Italy by sending its students on Erasmus placements in particular enterprises. In cooperation with nine other Italian universities, the International Relations office of the university actively promotes Erasmus-funded work placements abroad. The search for traineeships in other European countries is facilitated by the project’s database of European enterprises and other intermediaries.

Erasmus Bronze - Erasmus mobility and the Youth in Action Programme

Akdeniz Üniversitesi - Antalya, TURKEY -

Since joining the Erasmus programme in 2003-2004 this university has established 180 bilateral agreements with other higher education institutions in Europe to allow for mobility of students and teachers. It has set up a proactive International Relations office which offers support to exchange students and also draws on the experience of students who have taken part in the European Voluntary Service as part of the EU’s Youth in Action programme.

Category 3: The Grundtvig Programme focuses on the teaching and study needs of people engaged in adult learning. Thanks to its multilateral projects and networks, institutions and organisations from participating countries pool knowledge and experience and strengthen the link between various actors involved in adult education throughout Europe. This cross-border cooperation results in innovative products and methods with indisputable European value in the area of adult learning.

Grundtvig Golden Award - Inclusive teaching material for Adults: the Roma

Dromo Kotar Mestipen - Association of Roma women - Barcelona, SPAIN -

The EducaRom project tries to eradicate inequality in society, in particular, inequality to women and has recognised the value of education in overcoming discrimination and exclusion. The project must be credited for establishing the first ever tailor-made learning materials for Roma women - designed by Roma women from organisations in different EU member states. By providing a space for exchange and dialogue it has helped in giving a stronger voice to these women.

Grundtvig Silver Award - e-learning while in Hospital -

Die Berater – Unternehmensberatungs GmbH / The consultants - Wien, AUSTRIA

The project "e-learning while in Hospital" is addressing adult educators, e-learning facilitators, as well as health managers who want to develop learning activities for patients hospitalised for a long period of time. Computer-assisted learning allows patients to be independent of the time-space factor in conventional face-to-face learning while virtual tools make joint learning activities possible. Such activities can help cope with isolation and ease reintegration into normal life.

Grundtvig Bronze Award - EMMA – European Network for Motivational Mathematics for Adults

VOX – Nasjonalt Senter for Læring I Arbeidslivet / National Centre for Learning in Working Life - Oslo, NORWAY

There are many situations in daily live – and not just at work – where mathematical skills are needed. Many adults in Europe still lack some of these very basic skills in numeracy. The EMMA project has made a valuable contribution to tackling this problem. Besides raising awareness of the issue, it has given researchers, experts and policy makers a platform to meet and discuss and to find the best strategies of improving adult numeracy in Europe.

Category 4: Leonardo da Vinci multilateral projects support the exchange of people, development and transfer of innovation in vocational education and training (VET). This has a real impact on the quality and transparency of the countries education and training systems, and innovations have come into being through the cross-fertilisation and different creative approaches of numerous European partners. These projects also benefit enterprises, social partners and other representatives of working life.

Leonardo Golden Award - Réseau d'échanges pédagogiques européens de la Fédération européenne des écoles de cirque professionnelles (FEDEC) - École Supérieure des Arts du Cirque - Brussels, BELGIUM

This project organised a series of European-level workshops for circus specialists and their students. Exchanges of good practices resulted in a remarkable training programme of seven modules which are supported by pedagogical films. Each module is dedicated to the technical aspects of circus disciplines as well as safety and rigging. The products of the projects are not only tools for all teachers and trainers of circus art, but also of special interest to sports educators.

Leonardo Silver Award - POOLS -Producing Open Online Learning Systems

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig – Scotland's Gaelic College - Slèite, UNITED KINGDOM -

The Pools project has created an internet-based virtual community for language teachers in VET, which provides them with creative and innovative ICT-based material, especially for less widely used languages such as Lithuanian, Basque and Gaelic. The material on the website is accessible without any copyright restrictions and facilitates cross-fertilisation. It can be tailored to individual needs and inspires teachers to deviate from textbook-based lessons and experiment with new teaching tools.

Leonardo Bronze Award - - Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Consulting and Training Network - Overpar Solutions Est. – coordinator - Schaan, LIECHTENSTEIN -

The project encourages e-Learning in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The innovation and creativity of the project lies in the usability and practical value of the 6-steps concept - analysis, concept design, planning, implementation, action and evaluation. The project is an excellent example of how simple solutions can create a sustainable impact on strategically important target groups and sectors.

Category 5: The daily lives of many Europeans are becoming more international and, hence, more multilingual. Languages multilateral projects seek to raise awareness of the importance of linguistic skills and promote 'multilingualism' as a bridge to other people, countries and cultures. They develop innovative language learning materials, including online courses and instruments for language testing. They promote language awareness and access to language learning resources as well.

Languages Golden Award - Barrier-free language learning – an approach designed for adults with learning disabilities - Sverigefinska folkhögskolan – Institute of adult education - Haparanda, SWEDEN

This project has developed a way of teaching English as a foreign language to adults with intellectual disabilities or learning difficulties. “English without Frontiers” works for people who want to learn English for a job, just for fun, or so they can communicate when abroad. It is a very flexible course that takes into account the special educational needs of this group of learners.

Languages Silver Award - EUROMOBIL II - Université Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3

Pessac, France

The project provides interactive multimedia materials for learning Czech, French, Polish, Portuguese and Romanian based on video recordings in these languages. It is adapted to learners with different levels of knowledge of the language and offers exchange students the opportunity to prepare themselves for their time abroad.

Languages Bronze Award - Mission Europe - online immersion in other cultures
Radio France Internationale - Paris, FRANCE

The project offers full immersion in the world of languages through a creative approach to language learning in which the student is invited to identify with a computer player who carries out joint operations in France, Poland and Germany with virtual heroines. 'Mission Europe' is an excellent example of how technology can help to foster cultural awareness and linguistic diversity.

Category 6: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have the enormous potential to foster the competence of being creative and innovative. ICT develops fresh learning approaches - use of simulations, experiential and discovery learning – enabling and attracting new learners and bridging the 'digital divide' between those with access to technologies and relevant skills, and those without.

ICT Golden Award - An educational dimension of conflict resolution through cultural production - Humak University of Applied Sciences

Helsinki, FINLAND -

The project applied an innovative approach to distance-learning about the theatrical method 'Theatre of the Oppressed', founded by the Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boal. An online learning platform, with video-conferences and teaching material based on theatre performances, acts as a 'forum-theater' where the audience interacts directly and changes the plot of the play. The project combined the knowledge of art teachers and ICT experts. The outputs have been produced in nine languages.

ICT Silver Award - EU-HOU - Hands-on Universe, Europe. Bringing frontline interactive astronomy to the classroom

Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris, FRANCE -

EU-HOU project developed hands-on tools for studying the universe to awaken an interest in maths and science. The project managed to make formulas and computations attractive to young pupils. Pupils now have the possibility to experience the thrill of discovery by using webcam systems, radio telescopes and a world-wide network of optical telescopes available through the Internet.

ICT Bronze Award - E-VOCAL - e-Learning for Vocal / Song Education

Waldig Winterbacher Operasvoice OEG - Wien, AUSTRIA -

The project shows how the effective use of ICT can build bridges between technology and art. The e-learning courses, which can be used at music universities, conservatories, schools and adult education centres, are designed to support trainers and students in classical singing independent of time and place. A video file of an aria can be downloaded and a live rehearsal be simulated, in which the student sings according to the interpretation and the timing of the virtual conductor.

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