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Measures to Combat Educational Disadvantage

A European Consultation Symposium,  Brussels, 8-9 December 2011

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Education and Culture is organising a consultation symposium in Brussels on 8-9 December 2011, with input from NESET experts, which is designed to collect expert advice and empirical evidence that will directly feed into the preparation of a new European Commission's initiative on education and inequalities.
In total, more than 200 people will be invited, reflecting the broad range of stakeholders in this process: researchers, national administrators, representatives of European-level civil society organisations, practitioners and other actors in the field of education and in related policy fields.

Across the European Union, education and training should give everybody a real chance for the future. Equity must be combined with efficiency to improve the existing systems. As of 2006, the European Commission has stressed the importance of inclusiveness through education in its Communication on "Equity and Efficiency". This commitment has been fully endorsed by the Council in its May 2010 Conclusions.

The ongoing crisis leaves us no chance but to work towards more equity and inclusiveness. This is the prerequisite to unlock the potential of education across Europe as outlined in the EU 2020 strategy. Investments in education and training systems, as well as reforms, should be directed to provide to everybody key competences and skills matching the needs of the labour market.

The European Consultation Symposium is organised in Brussels to discuss our way forward. We need to move from reflection to action at a time of economic and social challenges. A broad range of actors from education and related policy fields are invited to debate around three questions:

1. What are the specific elements that make some education systems more inclusive and equitable? What are Member States doing to develop such systems?

2. How is the economic crisis affecting the promotion of equity and inclusiveness through education and training?

3. Which way forward; how can efficiency and equity be combined to achieve excellence and inclusiveness in education and training?


Please see below for the Symposium Programme: