Future of European Education Echoes Liberal Arts and Sciences


The European Commission has recently released a statement setting out its vision for the creation of a European Education Area by 2025.  The statement includes several areas that are of interest to those interested in undergraduate education in the EU and the liberal arts and sciences movement in particular.


Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, states clearly the needs for Europe’s future in terms reminiscent of the very objectives of a liberal arts and sciences education: “As we look to Europe’s future, we need to equip ourselves with an ambitious, shared agenda for how we can use culture and learning as a driver for unity.  Education is the key, because it is education that equips us with the skills we need to become active members of our increasingly complex societies.  It is education that helps us adapt to a rapidly changing world, to develop a European identity, to understand other cultures and to gain the new skills one needs in a society that is mobile, multicultural and increasingly digital.” 


This statement echoes many of the characteristics of the liberal arts and sciences outlined in the recently published Guide to Emerging Liberal Arts and Sciences Practices in the EU – the cultivation of cognitive skills in problem solving, communication, analytical thinking; the importance of citizenship and its responsibilities; the cultivation of these skills to adapt to rapid change and to encourage life-long learning.


Among those aspects that the Commission designates for inclusion in a European Area of Education and related to LAS objectives are:


  1. Increasing mobility for faculty and students
  2. Greater cooperation on curricula development
  3. Promoting life-long learning
  4. Creating a network of European universities
  5. Preserving cultural heritage

For more information, see the full text of the Commission’s report.