European educational revolution: progressive factors

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Presently there are a number of vital issues in the revolutionary process of educational transformation in the EU member states. Some of them are covered in this article: such as , for example, contemporary complex challenges in the revised education policies, global and European regulatory measures in education, the EU’s twin transition in the educational reform, sustainability in modern political economy and education, etc. 

Revising education policies
During last three decades, most countries worldwide and in Europe as well, have been supporting higher education trends towards strengthening skills acquisition in complex spheres of modern challenges, such as digitalisation, circular economy, climate mitigation and sustainable development, to name a few. In particular, the global sustainability goals (UN SDGs adopted in 2015) included a main orientation guideline SDG4 for quality education.
Presently numerous higher education and training reforms have been aimed at developing skills required to make effective national progress towards implementing such new socio-economic priorities as sustainability, improving energy and transport efficiency, protecting human and marine environment, ensuring food quality and security, etc.
Strong interdependencies among social, economic, political and environmental issues provide for the need of inclusion of adequate education facilities in greatly transformed education policies striving for optimal outcomes and positive effects in development.
Therefore, European and other countries in the world are proceeding with comprehensive reforms and revision in educational processes aimed at new patterns in development subject to greener, inclusive and digital growth. In it is obvious that the success of modern growth, in great extent, depends on adequate skills, qualifications and revolutionary changes in education policies.

Global and European regulatory measures in education
Education and training are seen presently, both globally and in Europe, as vital instruments in sustainable socio-economic development and national wellbeing: acquiring basic and specific skills children and young people are likely to have better future and actively participate in national development.
In dramatically changing global agendas, the “world population” requires a quick adaptation to new global challenges and their inclusion into existing education systems. Students and workforce, as well as education providers, shall be equipped with adequate knowledge in “new teaching” and online technologies.
Analysis must be made concerning existing educational challenges in global and European dimension affecting present efforts in strengthening perspective education facilities. For example, European countries are actively transforming national education policies towards appearing challenges by including them in the national strategic recovery and resilience plans. Perspective growth in all modern states are subject to reactive and pro-active measures in dealing with contemporary global challenges; these measures, in European states include: a) modernized socio-economic priorities (e.g. in part, instigated by the EU-wide digital-climate transformations and revised workers’ qualifications); and b) active involvement of sustainable goals in education in schools and universities in line with the transformed national priorities. Some states are still feeling post-pandemic pressures in national economies: these “pressures” have to be taken into account in educational reforms too.

“Twin transition” through a reformed education
European “twin transition”, i.e. dual digital-climate transformation in the member states political economy, occupies an integral and important part of contemporary educational reforms. Twin transition is focusing on practical implications in the states reforming education policies and national recovery and resilience programs critically vital knowledge on digitalisation and climate mitigation.
The digital-climate transition includes: a) modernising traditional national socio-economic priorities, and b) active involvement of world-wide challenges, including sustainability, into education programs in schools, colleges and universities.
Reforming educational policies along twin transition is regarded as a vital component in sustainable socio-economic development, in general and national wellbeing, in particular. Hence, the need for basic and specific skills for future entrepreneurs; the latter will be better equipped to serve the national priorities and facilitate optimal business opportunities.
Digital and climate priorities are altering not only basic national political economy’s patterns, they are also supporting the states in their education and training systems reforms, and in enhancing synergies with other policy areas (e.g. research and innovation, employment, youth and culture). The EU financial and funding instruments assist in progressive national reforms, in identifying long-term targets, and formulating indicators to guide entrepreneurship and monitor progress in education.

Sustainability in modern political economy and education
Although the needs for transformative types of education policies are universal for modern political economy, specific educational fields and sections have to incorporate; most vital and substantial for national agenda are sustainability courses, modules and curricula.
Incorporating process seems quite complicated: i.e. it includes teaching new skills, as well as re-skilling exiting workforce through vocational training, in accordance with national renewed political economies and structural modernisation.
New teaching approaches in education require both specific tools and methods, including on-line modes; besides, a new cohort of teachers shall be “produced” capable of delivering sustainability’s goals. Only in this way, modernized education policies will fit into “quality education” required by SDG-4 and facilitate optimal functioning of modern political economy’s patterns.
Reforming educational process along the “sustainability requirements” has been a complex process of a double nature: on one side, it involves, for example, a sustainability triangle, i.e. taking into consideration political, socio-economic and environmental factors in modernized national growth patterns; on another sides, fundamental changes in national education policies shall be implemented, based on the so-called “purely technical” issues of teaching sustainability and general transitions in education and learning concepts.

European “education union” in the reform’s process
The EU intensive regional efforts to streamline the states’ educational policies represent an important political-economy’s instrument in the European integration agenda. The outcomes of a newly formed European “education union” will coordinate and supplement the member states’ education policies. Among these efforts most vital is creating a “unified” European Education Area, EEA (expected for completion by 2025) as the most important driver in harnessing socio-economic progress and employment in the states.
Besides, particular role of universities and their alliances in addressing modern social and education challenges shall be emphasized. The European “education alliances” are representing a strategic EEA framework for the EU-wide cooperation in education and training towards most perspective spheres of higher education transformation.
According to the new Erasmus+ program and the EU financial support, 17 initial “university alliances” have been already founded; additionally, up to 24 sectoral alliances actively working the main priority area of higher education are envisioned with participating partners from outside the EU area.

Science, research and innovation in educational reforms
Modern states’ progress, as well as the EU member states, is based on the adequate provision of knowledge and skills to workforce and providing sufficient opportunities for younger generations to develop their talent in attractive employment. Therefore science, research and innovation centers in universities, as well as in numerous industrial and manufacturing sectors, are striving to create not only a strong background for new skills and re-skilling but also provide necessary facilities for employment careers in public and private organisations.
For example, in the context of European integration, the triangle of science, research and innovation (SRI), has been already substituting the previously used double connotation, i.e. research and development, R&D; the transformation is not just a “play of words”, it has an utmost importance in the present educational reforms, as the SRI-triangle has taken the leading positions in education policy’s fundamental transformations. Actually, without serious breakthrough in each triangle’s component the education revolution will hardly succeed.
Thus, it is necessary to follow changes in fundamental and applied sciences, in natural, social sciences and humanities, etc. as certain “assisting means” in modern education and training’s transformations. Besides, the process of reforms also concentrates on science’s role in contemporary process of national recovery and resilience programs in the member states as reflected in the Union’s measures concerning education policy’s adaptation to global challenges.

Labour market and workforce in a reformed educational policy
One of the main goals in educational reform is to provide contemporary socio-economic development with required skills and profession to tackle modern challenges. In dealing with the national recovery-resilience plans, as well as “green”, digital and sustainability strategies, the EU member states are involved in a process of implementing fundamental transformation in the national education policies adequate to modern employment trends and workforce requirements. Never before educational reforms have had such a vital role in national social, economic issues and political orientations.
Modern facets in national socio-economic development, instigated for example by the EU’s twin transition as well as the member states’ recovery/resilience plans, are based on quality education in new skills and/or re-skilling processes. Supplemented by the restructuring of the education process towards sustainability, circular economy and digitalisation, the new skills agenda reflects one of the basic elements in educational revolution. Thus, two new European instruments, among numerous others, i.e. dealing with career and learning choices, are showing that higher education sector is able to provide serious assistance to evident transformations in the labour market.

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