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   In  recent  years  thousands of young people have been  able  to  acquire
   experience  in  an educational system other than their  own  through  the
   Community's Erasmus and Lingua programmes (1). As "ambassadors of the new
   generation", they have not only been able to realise their full  personal
   potential, but have also made a contribution by sharing their  experience
   with the society in which they live.

   The  main  objective  of SOCRATES, an action programme in  the  field  of
   education  proposed by the Commission on Tuesday, 4 January 1994  on  the
   initiative  of  Antonio Ruberti (1), is to ensure a  follow-up  to  these
   programmes  after 31 December 1994, the date on which they end, and  also
   to provide innovation by addressing all levels of teaching. For the first
   time Community measures at school level will be included.

   Mr Ruberti   believes  that  SOCRATES,  by  facilitating   exchanges   of
   experience  and  transfers  of innovation, will  contribute  towards  the
   development of quality education throughout the Community and will foster
   the  occupational and social integration of young people into  tomorrow's
   society.  By  encouraging not only physical mobility, but  also  language
   learning  and  the use of modern open and distance teaching  methods,  it
   will  enable  a  larger  number  of young  people  to  benefit  from  the
   advantages of a true open European area in education.

   With  this proposal the Commission is concluding the procedure  which  it
   started  with its recent proposals for programmes "Youth for Europe  III"
   (2) and "Vocational training" (3), with the aim of strengthening - at the
   same   time  as  simplifying  and  rationalising  -  existing   Community
   activities in the fields of education, training and youth.

   This trio of programmes forms an integral part of the Community's efforts
   to  adapt education and training systems in the Community, recognised  as
   necessary in the White Paper recently adopted by the European Council  in
   order to achieve a closer match between training supply and labour demand
   and thus give new impetus to growth and employment in the Community.

   With a proposed budget of more than ECU 1 billion over five years  (1995-
   99),  SOCRATES  will  endeavour to promote  activities  characterised  by
   transnational cooperation and involving a large number of players  within
   the education systems of several Community Member States.

   These  activities may be divided into three categories,  covering  higher
   education  (Erasmus), school education ("Europe at school"),  and  multi-
   sectoral   measures  including  encouraging  language  learning  in   the
   Community, open and distance learning, and information.

   Cooperation in higher education (Erasmus)

   In  addition to encouraging mobility by making it possible  for  students
   and  teachers to do part of their studies or training in  another  Member
   State,  Erasmus  aims  to promote the  creation  of  university  networks
   bringing  together,  by  area  of  study,  inter-university   cooperation
   programmes (joint development of curricula, extension of credit  transfer
   system,  etc.).  Encouragement  will also be given  to  the  creation  of
   university poles allowing several establishments to pool their  resources
   so  as  to  be able to meet students' specific  needs  more  effectively,
   including  the provision of accommodation or facilities for the  learning
   of less common languages.

   Cooperation in school education ("Europe at school")

   The  principal aim will be to encourage partnerships between  schools  in
   different Member States for joint education projects, particularly in the
   fields of languages, cultural heritage, protection of the environment and
   other  areas of common interest. Another objective will be to foster  the
   creation  of subject-area networks of schools involved  in  partnerships,
   for  the  exchange  of  information and  the  design  or  improvement  of
   educational  materials.  Finally,  attempts  will  be  made  to   promote
   schooling for the children of migrant workers and gypsies and to make  it
   easier for teaching staff to update their skills.

   Measures aimed at all levels of education

   The  aims here will be to promote language learning in the  Community  by
   allowing future language teachers to study or work as assistants in other
   countries, and to promote open and distance learning, which offers  major
   benefits  to persons whose geographical or personal situation means  that
   they  cannot  attend courses where their physical presence  is  required.
   Finally,   encouragement   will  be  given  to   information   exchanges,
   particularly  through  an  extension  of the  Eurydice  network  (4)  and
   exchanges  of  experience  through study visits by  key  players  in  the
   development of cooperation in education.

   At a time when all education systems are faced with an increasing  demand
   for  quality  so  as to give everyone a real chance  to  participate  and
   develop  their full potential in an enlarged European context,  Community
   action in the field of education has been designed to make it  contribute
   with  all  the means at its disposal, i.e. by  encouraging  transnational
   cooperation.

   In  order  to achieve optimum results, the Commission will  ensure  close
   links between SOCRATES and the action programme for the implementation of
   a  Community  vocational training policy proposed by  the  Commission  on
   21 December last, the Community's structural activities (particularly  in
   the  field of human resources), and the socio-economic component  of  the
   Community's  fourth framework research and development  programme  (1994-
   98).

                                      ***

   (1) Erasmus:  Community  action  scheme for the  mobility  of  university
       students.
       Lingua:  Promotion of the teaching and learning of foreign  languages
       in the Community
   (2) COM (93) 708
   (3) COM (93) 523 final
   (4) COM (93) 686
   (5) Eurydice: Information education network in the Community.

                                      ***

   Erasmus and Lingua, pilot education measures: statistics

   All programmes and projects have helped, both directly and indirectly, to
   encourage  contacts and exchanges between people responsible  at  various
   levels in the Member States.

   More  specifically, thanks to the scope for cooperation provided  by  the
   Erasmus  programme  since 1987 and Action II under the  Lingua  programme
   since 1990, 2 200 inter-university cooperation programmes involving 1 300
   higher-education establishments and 14 000 partnerships have resulted in:

       * mobility for more than 200 000 students and 15 000 teachers;

       * design of 700 intensive programmes and 800 common curricula;

       * 145  higher-education establishments have participated in  a  pilot
         project  to  introduce the ECTS (European Community  course  credit
         transfer  system), intended to facilitate the academic  recognition
         of studies abroad;

       * 20 000   teachers   and   administrators   from    higher-education
         establishments or NARIC centres have taken part in study visits  to
         other Member States;

       * 100 teachers' associations and 30 students' associations have  been
         set  up with encouragement from the Erasmus programme,  covering  a
         broad span of subjects and activities at European level.

   Since its launch in 1990, the Lingua programme has led to:

       * 70   European  cooperation  programmes  involving  280   continuing
         training  establishments and enabling 20 000 language  teachers  to
         participate in continuing training courses abroad;

       * 80 000 youth exchanges under joint education projects;

       * 240 projects to promote language learning in the economy, involving
         1 100 establishments;

       * 80  projects  designed  to  disseminate  innovations  in   language
         learning,  involving 350 establishments, and 80 projects  involving
         the  development  of  teaching aids for the less  common  and  less
         taught languages.

   The  development  of  transnational  pilot  projects  on  cooperation  in
   education  has  produced important results in terms of  experience,  even
   though the projects were only on a very small scale:

   *   creation  of  a network of 208 training institutions to  promote  the
       European dimension in the training of teachers and teacher trainers;

   *   since  1989 1 600 teachers have taken part in exchanges to  establish
       links between schools with a view to promoting the European dimension
       in education;

   *   40  school  partnerships involving 160 schools have  been  formed  to
       foster cooperation between schools;

   *   since  1978, 6 000 education specialists have participated  in  study
       visits  organised  under  the  ARION programme,  with  the  focus  on
       priority subjects specified by the Council or Member States;

   *   300  projects  on schooling for the children of  migrants,  itinerant
       workers and gypsies have been implemented to date;

   *   200  projects  in  the  field  of  new  information  technologies  in
       education  have  led  to  exchanges  of  information,  practices  and
       methods.

   Examples of Community measures in the field of education

   1   Higher education (Erasmus)

       Since 1988 the University of Patras (Greece) has been coordinating an
       inter-university programme which has led to the introduction of a new
       course, with a duration of seven months, for postgraduate students in
       biomedical  engineering. This course, which is given in  English  and
       has been designed by specialist teachers from 25 different countries,
       has  attracted a large number of students from the Member States  and
       EFTA countries. It consists of seven modules, each of which ends with
       an  examination leading to a certificate recognised by the  students'
       home establishments.

       This  year  54 students and 30 teachers will  benefit  from  mobility
       arrangements in order to attend this course in Patras. The  programme
       currently involves 27 establishments in the Community and Austria.

   2   Lingua programme

       Five regions in five Member States (D, E, F, I, UK) are involved in a
       joint education project, the main objective of which is to coordinate
       continuing training for teachers of English, French, German,  Italian
       and Spanish. The main outcome of the project will be the  development
       of suitable training material. Each region will produce material  for
       teachers  from other countries who teach the language spoken in  that
       region  and  are  being trained there.  The  principal  subjects  are
       information  on  teaching systems, objectives of  language  training,
       methodology,  assessment,  etc. Appropriate assessment  methods  will
       also be devised.

   3   Pilot measures in the field of education

   -   "Columbus",  a  project involving multilateral  partnerships  between
       secondary   schools,  has  been  coordinated  by  a  school  in   the
       Netherlands. Its point of departure was the 500th anniversary of  the
       discovery  of  America.  Secondary school students  from  five  ports
       (Genoa,  Antwerp,  Lisbon, Barcelona and Palermo) have been  able  to
       study  the  historical,  geographical and  cultural  aspects  of  the
       development  of  these  cities as a result of  the  growth  of  trade
       following  the discovery of America, and the phenomena of  emigration
       and industrial and technological development during the 19th and 20th
       centuries.  Their  studies have been assisted by  visits,  with  each
       school inviting a number of students from the others.

   -   An   Irish  teacher  training  college  has  been  coordinating   the
       activities of a network of establishments working on the design of  a
       basic  curriculum  for  primary  teachers.  This  project  is  called
       "Meithal", the Gaelic word used in rural areas for mutual assistance.
       The  participating establishments are located in six  Member  States.
       Groups  of trainers and students are working on the preparation of  a
       curriculum,  the  various aspects of which are tested,  assessed  and
       modified,  then retested and assessed by all the establishments.  The
       work  done  and time spent in one of the network  establishments  are
       recognised  as  part  of  future teachers'  training,  and  a  common
       certificate is awarded to each participant.

   -   Schooling for children of migrant workers and gypsies is the  subject
       of  a  number of projects supported by the  Community  including  the
       following two:

       The Education Ministries of Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Italy
       jointly  provide  training for teachers who work in  schools  with  a
       large number of children of migrant workers and give the students  in
       these  schools lessons in the different languages coexisting  in  the
       Community.  By learning rhymes, songs and poems the children  receive
       an  introduction  to  a foreign language and  develop  their  natural
       listening   ability,  giving  them  a  more  open  attitude  and   an
       understanding of a different culture.

       In  cooperation with the Education Ministers of France, Italy,  Spain
       and  the United Kingdom, the Ren� Descartes University (Paris  V)  is
       acting  as  the  steering establishment for  a  network  of  distance
       learning   institutions  developing  teaching  materials  for   gypsy
       children, in order to boost their learning motivation and  facilitate
       access to basic training for them.

   -   Finally, a large number (600) of multilateral study visits have  been
       organised  with  Community support under the ARION  programme.  These
       include:

       A study visit to France for education experts from six Member  States
       (heads   of   institutions,  advisers,   inspectors,   teaching   and
       administrative  staff), to see how schools can be  better  integrated
       into  their  socio-economic environment. Participants  were  able  to
       study  specific  examples  and collect  information  on  methods  and
       factors ensuring the success of school projects. They were then  able
       to share the expertise acquired with colleagues at home.

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