12:10 - EDUCATION: EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY SPACE, THE MINISTERS OF 47 STATES IN BUCHAREST
(Sir Europe - Brussels) - Investing more in university education, bringing the universities closer to the professional word, promoting students and teachers mobility all over Europe. These are some of the points that will be discussed by the Higher Education Ministers of 47 European countries (those connected with the European Councils Bologna Accords) gathering in Bucharest on April 26th and 27th to agree on reforms for the establishment of a more modern European Higher Education Space. EU Education Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou claimed that the member states must urgently modernise their higher education system to respond to the crisis and to the rise in youth unemployment rates. In her opinion, the European Space of Higher Education has undoubtedly helped fill the gap between the systems of the different countries. But more must be done. Europe must implement reforms that will fully develop its potentials. The preferred goals of the EU Commission include excellent education and skills fit for the employment market; in addition, stimuli to innovation and guarantees of adequate acknowledgement of academic qualifications must be provided. But Vassiliou warns that such goals cannot be achieved without adequate funds.