PN051104G

IMMEDIATE

FRIDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2004

LORDS COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE EU'S €13.62 BILLION EDUCATION PLANS FOR LIFE-LONG LEARNING

A House of Lords inquiry is being set up to probe ambitious EU plans for a new life-long learning programme and seeks evidence from interested parties.

The proposals for an integrated life-long learning programme aim to build on the European Commission's present education and training programmes. (Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus Mundus, the eLearning programme and the Europass initiative)

The integrated action programme would include the following:

  • Comenius for school-based education activities (up to and including upper secondary level)

  • Erasmus for higher-level education and advanced training activities

  • Leonardo da Vinci for all other aspects of vocational education and training

  • Grundtvig for adult education

This would be phased in from 2007 to 2013, with a proposed total budget of €13.62 billion.

Lord Williamson of Horton, Sub-Committee Chairman, said:

"This is an important programme in a key area where Member States have the prime responsibility. We want to ensure that the Commission's proposals will give good value for money without duplicating or interfering with Member States' own education and training polices and programmes."

"We want to find out how much is known about these educational opportunities in the UK and whether we are making good use of them."

The Committee is keen to hear from organisations and individuals who have either had direct experience of the Commission's present education and training programmes or those who have views on the new proposals.

Written evidence should be submitted by Monday 10 January 2005. Please see the attached "Call for Evidence" for further details.

For further details please contact Gordon Baker, Clerk to the EU Sub-Committee on Social Policy and Consumer Affairs on 020 7219 6635.

[ENDS]