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What    types  of   training   and  skills   does  a   continually   evolving
society  require? How   can  the  new   information  technologies  contribute
to   education    and  vocational     training?   How    can   learning    be
developed?   How can  the   concept   of "second   chance  schools"   be  put
into   practice?   These  are    some   of   the  topics  which   25  leading
figures   from    Europe's   world  of   learning  and   training   are being
asked  to  ponder,   thus  contributing  to   the   Commission's  reflections
on such  matters  for  completion  by  the  end  of  the  year.  This   high-
level  group, whose   members  were  recently  approved   by  Edith  Cresson,
the   Commissioner in   charge  of     research,  education   and   training,
held  its  initial  meeting  in Brussels  on  Thursday  21  September.

Education  and  training systems  must  be  able  to respond  to  the  labour
market's  growing  need  for  skills,  thus  helping to  combat  unemployment
effectively.  Consequently, education  and training  constitute  an area  for
priority action  by the European  Union. For  its part, the  Commission plans
inter alia to present a  White Paper on such  issues by the end of the  year.
Over  and  above  implementation  of  existing programmes  such  as  LEONARDO
(vocational training) and SOCRATES  (education), it  is essential to  promote
education and training  in the context  of Community  policies on  employment
and business competitiveness.

A high-level group to assist the Commission

The remit of the high-level group set up by the Commission covers:

*    education  and training in a knowledge-based society and economy, taking
     in all aspects of education, including pre-school and adult education;

*    clearer  identification of the needs in  terms of training and skills in
     an increasingly competitive society requiring new forms of work;

*    the  importance  of learning  at  all  levels  against  a background  of
     European-scale mobility;

*    the  contribution of  the new  information  technologies and  multimedia
     systems to education and initial  and continuing training, with  special
     reference to the development of educational software;

*    education and training for the information society;

*    implementation of flexible systems for validating acquired skills;

*    "second-chance" educational establishments;

*    development  of  networks  linking  universities,  training centres  and
     undertakings with a  view to enhancing  the dissemination  in Europe  of
     best experience of education and training;

*    the definition  of  European  "masters" in  certain  disciplines on  the
     basis of inter-university agreements and teacher mobility;

*    contribution  to the  "targeted  socio-economic research"  and "training
     and  mobility of  researchers"  programmes  under the  fourth  Framework
     programme;

*    the international dimension.

The  group,  which has  a two-year  mandate,  will be  chaired  by Jean-Louis
Reiffers, Professor of Economic  Science at the University  of Aix-Marseille.
Its  Bureau   will  comprise   Roberto  Carneiro   (President  of   Televisao
Independente  S.A.,  Portugal),  John Coolahan  (Professor  at  St  Patrick's
College, University  of Maynooth,  Ireland), David Marsden  (Professor at the
London  School of  Economics),  Martin  Twardy  (Director of  the  Vocational
Training  Research  Institute,  University of  Cologne)  and  Mrs  Anna Maria
Ginevra Conti Odorisio  (Professor of the  History of Feminine Issues  at the
Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Luiss, Italy). 

The group's other members are:

Mr Giuseppe Airoldi I    Vice-President for  training activities,  University
                         of Bocconi
          Former Director of Human Resources Development, SDA-Bocconi
          Member of research institute management boards
          Coordinator  of  numerous  research  projects  concerning   company
          organisation

Mrs Marla Ambrosio  P    Professor, Lisbon Technical University
          In-depth   knowledge   of   relationship   between   training   and
          technological innovation
          Expert on Community training programmes (EUROTECNET)

Mr Wenceslas   F    Holds major position in training body linked to top
Baudrillard         industrial undertaking in electronics sector (Thomson)
          Formerly responsible  for social policies  within Prime  Minister's
          office

Mr Erhard Busek     A    Former Austrian Education Minister
          Responsible for key reforms of Austrian education system
          Member of IDM Institute

Mr François Cornelis     B    Director of Petrofina
          Responsible  for  activities  of  industrialists'  round-table   on
          education and training
          Specialist in human resources management

Mr Stig Hagstrom    S    Chancellor   of  "Swedish   University  and  College
                         System"
          President of Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
          Member of Swedish Government's Research Advisory Board

Mr Ian Johnston     UK   Vice-Chancellor, Sheffield University
          Formerly  in  charge of  education  and training  at Department  of
          Employment

Mrs Kerstin Thoursie     S    Labour market specialist

Mrs Hélene Lund     DK   Actively  involved  at  Danish  municipal  authority
                         level
          Specialist in relations between education and regions
          Numerous activities for Council of Europe on adult education

Mrs Beatriz    ES   Professor, Madrid University
Munoz-Seca          Specialist in human resources
          Expert work for Commission on training in SMEs (FORCE)

Mrs Britta Naumann  D    Specialist  in  industrial relations  and collective
                         bargaining
          Member of European Trade Union Committee
          Member of "Status of Women" Committee, Education International
          Member of GEW Executive

Mr Orlol Homs  ES   Professor, Barcelona
          Specialist  in industrial  relations and  links  between innovation
          and qualifications
          Numerous activities under Community programmes
          (EUROTECNET - FORCE)
          Coordinator of studies and research projects
          Expert services for European Trade Union Confederation

Mr Nikolaos    GR   Professor   of   town  and   country   planning,   Patras
                    University
Plydorides          Director,  laboratory  of  architectural  technology  and
                    spatial planning
          President of Science Council, National Documentation Centre
          Coordinator of projects under VALUE and IMPACT programmes

Mr Paul Quintas     UK   Works for "Open University", UK
          Specialist in distance learning and new communication  technologies
          applied to education

Mrs Aino Sallinen   FIN  Philosopher
          Vice-Rector and later Rector of Jyvaskyla University
          Journalistic activities
          Professor in communications

Mr Walther Schusser D    Vice-President of Siemens
          Responsible for human resources at Siemens
          Chairman  of  IRDAC   working  party  -  report  on   "quality  and
          relevance"

Mr Claude Thelot    F    Planning and evaluation of national education
          Specialist in statistics concerning education and comparability  of
          data on systems

Mrs Sylvia Toth     NL   Former  President  of  training  institute  run   by
                         Netherlands employers' organisations
          Winner of Cliquot businesswoman of the year award (1985) 
          Member of board of NIMA and Royal Bijenlorf Beheer
          President of Content Beheer B.H.

Mr Jean Seywert     L    Director    of    human    resources    at    Banque
                         Internationale à Luxembourg
          Specialist in equal opportunities

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