Entrepreneurial spirit knows no boundaries
Thematic Area: Education and business
Developing an entrepreneurial mindset among all of Europe’s citizens is essential if the continent is to recover from its worst economic recession in more than half a century, participants heard at the Zagreb ‘high level reflection panel on entrepreneurship education’ on 18 March.
The two-day event, jointly organised by the European Commission, European Training Foundation and the Croatian government, brought together representatives from eleven EU partner countries to share ideas on creating an entrepreneurial culture within their societies.
The final in a five-part series of meetings held throughout the EU in the last twelve months – and the first to involve non-member states – the panel is seen as a crucial part of ETF partner countries’ drive to create stronger, more innovative and more entrepreneurial economies.
‘We are here to learn from you,’ said ETF’s Director, Madlen Serban asking the high-level education and economy officials, as well as representatives of business, to bring ideas to the table, share good practice and to put forward options for improving entrepreneurial learning.
Marko Curavic, Head of Unit in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, reminded participants that small and medium-sized businesses were responsible for 80% of new jobs created in the EU in the past five years. ‘We need to determine how our education systems can better contribute to a more enterprise-oriented economy where jobs and wealth are created,’ he said. Involving partner countries from South Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Southern Mediterranean to participate in sharing experiences about entrepreneurship education reflected the importance of the mission, continued Curavic. ‘You are joining this process as equals. In this context there is no difference between EU member states and others.’
Peter Baur, Deputy Head of Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture, agreed that learning from each other was key to tackling common problems. ‘We are living in a time in Europe where we are seeing unemployment figures not seen for ten years and more,’ he said. ‘People have the knowledge, strengths and innovative capability to address the challenges of getting to the knowledge economy. It is very important that lifelong learning, education and training are considered the main vehicles for achieving this.’
The high-level panel was formally opened by Croatian education and economy ministries. Radovan Fuchs, education minister said that entrepreneurship programmes at schools and vocational institutes over the past ten years had proven very popular with young people but that shifting the mindset of older Croats remained a challenge. Tajana Sapic-Kesic, State Secretary for Entrepreneurship at the economy ministry, outlined the efforts by her ministry to create a policy framework to bring forward life-long entrepreneurial learning.
The outcomes of the panel discussions will be posted on ETF and European Commission websites in early April.
Put simply, lifelong learning means that people can – and should have the opportunity to – learn throughout their lives.
Across the world, certain groups of people are still hard pressed to get the most out of their education and training system.
Partnership between the worlds of work and education is a process that is set to become an integral part of how we go about developing education.
“Employment”: promoting better functioning and inclusive labour markets and vocational education and training systems in ETF partner countries.
Making qualifications transparent and easily readable, even across international frontiers, is a high priority for the ETF.
Teachers are a critical factor in education reforms. The ETF takes therefore the role of schools and teachers seriously throughout its work.
Focusing on key competences is one of the surest ways of keeping education and training relevant in a fast-changing environment.
Governance modes and models have a high correlation with the overall performance of education and training policies, influencing their strategic formulation and implementation.