EDUCATION : RESEARCH NEEDS A MORE IMPORTANT ROLE, SAYS PRESIDENCY.
Education ministers are to discuss how to make better use of research in the development of policy-making, at their next Council meeting in May.
According to a discussion paper released by the German EU Presidency, it is planned that ministers will hold an exchange of views based around specific questions. These ask what should de done by member states to increase the amount of "relevant and useful" education research available, and also to reinforce its use both by policy-makers and educational professionals. It goes on to ask how such action could be supported at European level.
The paper sets out key challenges, as identified by the OECD, for improving the current state of affairs. It notes that education research currently has a more limited impact on policy-making than research in other areas, such as social care or employment policy. The explanation for this, it claims, lies in relatively low levels of research funding, leading in turn to doubts about its quality. Another problem is that, in most member states, research results are often difficult to access and to comprehend. Also, educational professionals do not get enough opportunities to share their knowledge with researchers.
It is intended that the Council discussion will provide input to a European Commission communication on evidence-based policy-making, currently due to be published in July 2007. The communication will include an action plan of specific initiatives to be taken at both EU and national level. The discussion will take place at the Education, Youth and Culture Council on 24-25 May.
The issues paper is available at www.europolitics.info => subscribers => advanced search => reference = 77896