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EU countries want to broaden the scale and scope of STEM learning

The EU countries face ever-growing technological competition from the US and Asian countries. At the same time the European societies are ageing and the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects vital to technological development find it difficult to attract enough students.

EU’s ET2020 higher education working group organized a Peer Learning Activity in March 2.-3. to share experiences of different methods to increase the attractiveness of the STEM subjects and to discuss the need to embed other subjects and transversal skills to STEM studies.

Some countries, such as Switzerland, has compiled a national strategy to advance the learning of STEM subjects. Most countries do not have a specific policy but address the issue and have supportive elements within different policies. In the PLA-seminar examples from Austria, Croatia, Finland, Hungary, Romania and the regions of Flanders in Belgium and Asturias in Spain indicated that different methods are used both at national and institutional level. Common to all are that they aim to build collaborative networks with different stakeholders (companies, public sector, schools, families etc.) and combine formal education with non-formal and informal learning to increase the attractiveness of the STEM subjects.

The Commission will draft a paper on the outcomes of the PLA and it will be shared with the ET2020 group later.

The European Commission has appointed six working groups for 2018-2020 to help EU Member States address the key challenges facing their education and training systems, as well as common priorities agreed at the European level. EU´s central social partners in the field of education are invited to participate in this process. Finnish Education Employers (Sivista) represents European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) in the higher education group.

More information:
Heikki Holopainen,  heikki.holopainen@sivista.fi

Finnish Education Employers,