European Commission presents Future Skills plans as important for Future Universities 

On 18 January 2022, the European Commission launched a new higher education package, including a European Strategy for Universities and a Commission proposal for a Council recommendation on transnational higher education cooperation.

As Europe, and higher education in particular, faces changing factors such as climate change, gender inequality, ongoing digitization and globalization, and the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Strategy for Universities includes proposals for how universities can adapt to these changes and what targets are essential to achieve them. In this sense, it will also be necessary to open up European education and cooperate across national borders. In order to offer students diverse and individually adaptable teaching models, universities must bring their requirements to a common standard and offer students a wide range of courses and certification opportunities through micro-credentials.

Universities are the central place where students and lifelong learners can be prepared to face the future. Future Skills are becoming more and more important. Universities must enable the „development of learners as creative and critical thinkers, problem solvers and active and responsible citizens equipped for lifelong learning.“ The European Commission confirms that Future Skills are becoming crucial for higher education must imperatively address how best to teach them.

We, the NextEducation research group at DHBW Karlsruhe, have been working on Future Skills models for quite some time and are leading the way in Europe. In our NextSkills study, we have developed various necessary competencies and also outlined the Future Universities. Universities can use these models as a basis for integrating Future Skills teaching into their education models and thus keeping pace with the market on a global scale.

The NextEducation Research Group: www.next-education.org

The NextSkills Initiative: www.nextskills.org

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