The European Union’s education policies have been a subject of attention during the month of September. Earlier in the month, the EU made the decision to increase its humanitarian aid budget percentages, specifically targeting education for children in emergency situations. This budget increase will take place amid already tense relations with Britain, whose exit from the EU remains likely.
Education Budget Increases for Emergency Funding
Beginning in 2018, the EU has decided to increase its percentage of humanitarian aid for educating in emergencies to 8%. This funding will be used to provide education, job skills, school materials, and teacher training to areas of the world most affected by crises such as war and natural disaster zones. Girls and refugees are among those that will be offered the most assistance.
EU Current Policies
The European Union provides many education policy regulations and support for European countries. That being said, each member country creates its own agenda within certain limitations. The EU primarily has focused on aiding countries with issues of early school leaving, early childhood education, STEM, and teacher training.
Despite this support, not all countries have been satisfied with the influence of the EU. The United Kingdom, for example has proposed to exit the EU. This “Brexit”, as it is termed, is scheduled to take place on March 29, 2019 unless terms are agreed upon prior to this date. Negotiations are currently underway.
Effects of Brexit on Education in the UK
Leaving the EU has the potential to negatively impact the UK education system. Lower quality of higher education and decreased research funding are the top concerns posed by the UK government and citizens. The country may lose top educators by withdrawing.
New Vision for EU
French president Emmanuel Macron remains hopeful of a positive future for the EU. Macron has proposed the construction of more European universities, with aims at uniting the European Union and hopefully reclaiming the United Kingdom as a member. Macron also advocates for EU policies in support of higher education for the youth, as well as making research funding a top priority.
With controversy and new policy implementation on the rise, the future of European Union education policies remains unknown. However, it is safe to say that the focus will remain on increases funding to emergency situations, research, and higher education, while aiming to unite the EU and recover lost membership.
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