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Transversal Programmes


In order to ensure that the four sub-programmes of the Lifelong Learning Programme reap the best results, a transversal programme with four key activities complements them

1)Policy Co-Operation (Innovating and sharing good policy practices)

Policy co-operation and innovation actions support study visits for education and training decision-makers and other stakeholders, as well as studies and comparative research in these fields at European level. The main objectives are to support policy development and co-operation in lifelong learning and to ensure an adequate supply of comparable data, statistics and analyses.

As part of the Transversal programme of the Lifelong Learning Programme, the key activity ‘Policy co-operation and innovation’ aims to enhance the quality and transparency of education and training systems, monitor progress towards fixed objectives and targets, identify areas of concern and strengthen the collection and production of data, statistics and research across the EU.
Actions are relevant to a range of beneficiaries: policy-makers, experts and officials from national, regional or local authorities; directors of education, training, guidance and accreditation organisations; representatives of social partners; universities, academic and research institutes;  and other education practitioners.
It also includes actions that support greater transparency and recognition of qualifications, peer-learning activities and co-operation networks in the field of lifelong learning. However, as these actions are addressed to specific bodies, they are subject to separate calls for proposals or other arrangements.
An annual programme of study visits runs to encourage discussion, exchange and mutual learning on lifelong learning policies at both a national and EU level. These enable those who exercise responsibility at a local, regional or national level to better understand specific aspects of education and vocational training policies in other countries.

For 2008, the programme runs from September 2008 until June 2009, with 305 programmes for over 3 000 participants from 31 countries. The average grant for participation in a one-week study visit is €1 407.
Priorities for 2008 are:
  • Education systems and their values
  • Education actors: pupils, teachers and parents 
  • School and its environment 
  • Vocational education and training 
  • Adult education 
  • Language teaching and learning 
  • Linking school education and VET

However, national authorities can focus study visits on their own priorities
Studies and Comparative Research
Grants are awarded for studies and comparative research that strengthen the evidence base for policy and practice in education and training.

There are a number of priorities:
  • Promoting excellence, efficiency and equity in higher education, especially student access and retention.
  • Identifying, assessing and promoting quality in the organisation, management and funding of adult learning. 
  • Addressing weaknesses in pre-school and in obligatory education, particularly in the acquisition of key competences. 
  • Promoting the attractiveness and quality of vocational education and training: organisation of systems and better understanding of the links between vocational education and training, higher education and working life. 
  • The role of creative activities in the learning process and their impact on people's capacities for innovation.

2)Languages (Breaking the language barriers)
Linguistic diversity is a fact of life in Europe and it can encourage economic growth, personal development and inter-cultural dialogue. EU actions aim to promote language learning and the linguistic diversity in Europe.
Language learning and linguistic diversity form an integral part of the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) under the Comenius, Erasmus, Grundtvig and Leonardo sub programmes. In addition, languages are one of the four key activities of the LLP's transversal programme, with actions focussed on the teaching and learning needs in two or more educational sectors.
A labour force with practical language and intercultural skills is crucial for economic growth and better jobs, enabling European enterprises to compete effectively in the global marketplace. Multilingualism also contributes to personal development, reinforces social cohesion and promotes intercultural dialogue, creating opportunities to discover other values, beliefs and behaviours. The key activity Languages contributes to all these objectives.
Priorities for actions are set annually and the initiatives are open to any organisation or institution working directly or indirectly in those fields.
The aims of the key activity are to raise awareness of the importance of linguistic skills, boost access to language learning resources and develop teaching materials. It supports:
  1. Multilateral projects to develop new language learning materials, including online courses, instruments for language testing, the promotion of language awareness and access to language learning resources.
  2. Networks to promote languages policies and disseminate project results and good practices.
Any language (worldwide) is eligible for funding under these multilateral projects and networks, including European regional or minority languages.
Other initiatives include promotion, marketing, publicity and information campaigns, as well as conferences, studies and the development of statistical indicators in the field of language learning and linguistic diversity.

3)Information And Communication Technologies (Innovativelearning)
EU actions aim to harness the power of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to develop innovative education and training practices, improve access to lifelong learning and help develop advanced management systems.
The promotion of ICT for learning is one of the four key activities of the LLP's transversal programme, supporting actions that address general issues concerning two or more educational sectors. It is also an integral part of the Comenius, Erasmus, Grundtvig and Leonardo sub-programmes.
Progress in the use of ICT for education and training across Europe has been substantial in the last years. However, studies show that ICT has not yet had as significant an impact as expected.
Effective integration of ICT into education must go beyond simply replacing, streamlining or accelerating current practices. It must also find new and more effective ways of operating, supporting pedagogical and organisational innovation. ICT has become embedded in our social and economic fabric and it should be similarly embedded in education and training systems.
Actions are not about developing technology itself, but about the use of ICT tools to enhance learning environments and experiences. This includes aspects such as the use of simulations, discovery learning, attracting drop-outs back to education, enabling learning outside the school environment and bridging the 'digital divide' between those with access to technologies and relevant skills, and those without.

Priorities for the key activity are set annually and the initiatives are open to any organisation or institution working directly or indirectly in those fields. The current focus is on:
  1. Multilateral projects to encourage innovation and creativity in learning and teaching and boost the use of new ICT tools and trends, particularly for groups at risk of exclusion such as early school leavers, ethnic minorities and elderly people
  2. Networks to promote greater linking up and connectivity between learning communities and to foster creativity and innovation through the use of ICT

4)Dissemination And Exploitation Of Project Results (Spreading and implementing the results)
In order to maximise their impact, activities and projects funded by the Lifelong Learning programme, or previous programmes, should be made as widely known as possible to potential users. Therefore, it is necessary that each EU-funded project disseminates and exploits its own results.

A number of actions seek to establish a framework to boost dissemination and exploitation activities and the exchange of good practice across the whole programme. This is done by funding initiatives which complement the work done in individual projects.