BRUSSELS – The European Students’ Union (ESU) welcomes a forward looking report presented today on new modes of learning and teaching. The report highlights that students are unique and so is the way they learn. Therefore, new ICT tools should cater for individual ways of learning, contributing to a real student-centred learning.
Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, presented this report from the High Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education. It is the second report published by the High Level Group. The first one on Improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions was published in June 2013.
“We are happy to see that the High Level Group mainstreams the needs of students throughout its report. It is key to move towards the implementation of new modes for learning, teaching and assessment, keeping in mind that the student population is diverse as well as students’ needs. ICT tools are a perfect opportunity to do so. The future of education is blended and student-centred,” says Fernando Miguel Galán Palomares, Vice-Chairperson of ESU.
More and more learning and teaching methods are using ICT tools and starting to be integrated both on-campus and distance higher education provisions, using the new opportunities that technology offers. However, it is important to support students, teaching staff and institutions to be able to have access to this technology and equip them with adequate digital competences.
Ms Vassiliou declared the support of the European Commission, through the new Erasmus+ programme and structural funds, in order to implement the recommendations presented by the group. On the other hand, it will also require additional funds from national governments, which may not be the most realistic idea in times of budget cuts in national education and increasing student fees.
“ESU believes that a common European initiative should be developed to ensure and enhance the quality of this type of education provision, and the recognition of the achieved learning outcomes. Moreover, we all must be careful with other education providers, such as private companies, that are usually not subjected to quality assurance mechanisms,” Galán Palomares continues.
ESU believes that the group’s recommendations address positively new challenges that come hand by hand with the use of new technologies. These are, for example, the protection of student data or open access to educational resources developed with public funds.
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The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012.