The Lifelong Learning Platform (LLL Platform) is an umbrella organisation gathering several European organisations and stakeholders active in the field of education, training and youth. Its aim? Bringing the voice of its members at European level when it comes to educational policy and hosting a platform for cooperation and discussion. As a member of this platform, OBESSU takes part in Working Groups and events to bring and share the school students’ perspective with other important stakeholders. From 10 to 13 October in Brussels (Belgium), the LLL Platform together with the European Youth Forum (YFJ) hosted its big annual event: the ‘Lifelong Learning Week 2016’.

In the framework of the LLL-Week, OBESSU attended several events and conferences covering different themes and topics. In particular, OBESSU Secretariat members took part in events about citizenship education; financial aspects of the ERASMUS+ Programme; challenges of youth and adult education related to the Sustainable Development Goals 2030; validation of skills gained through volunteering; and best practices for inclusion of migrants and refugees. All the outcomes of these events will be used by the Board for future advocacy work.

Moreover, Board Member Ferre was invited to represented OBESSU and the European school student movement in two different events, on Thursday 13th.

During the morning, we attended the meeting of the Working Group on Digital Learning. The LLL Platform is interested in joining the debate on digitalisation in education – a hot topic at European level. Several organisations and institutions, such as the European Commission, presented their views and vision on how digitalisation in education should take place and what should be the main focus. So did we! With a clear voice we stated that every student should have equal access and support in order to achieve equal skills. The fundament for our contribution is our Policy Paper on ICT Education, adopted by the OBESSU General Assembly last summer in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). It is encouraging that the hard work put in this policy paper by all of us is already paying off. The document has been shared with the whole Working Group and there was a lot of interest in our authentic students’ perspective!

In the afternoon OBESSU took part in a panel discussion in the European Parliament on recognition of study abroad. Recently, we joined a campaign launched by the European Federation for Intercultural Learning (EFIL) called #RecogniseStudyAbroad. Long-term mobility of secondary school students in Europe is still hindered in practice. Formal recognition of study abroad would support many students in undertaking student mobility in their secondary education and, as we strongly believe in the benefits of intercultural learning, we are very happy to participate and give our inputs to this campaign. The event brought together stakeholders and policy makers to point out and debate the main motives and how they foresee recognition. Formal recognition would be a great support for many students, providing easy and clear procedures and administration work, as it can be seen in some countries that already have good practices in recognising studying abroad. To learn more about the campaign check out the website.

The Lifelong Learning Week was a big success! People, activists, organisations, policy makers, politicians and stakeholders… all together to discuss, analyse and exchange about education matters and issues that society has to face nowadays. We are proud to say that we were part of it!

For more details or questions, please feel free to contact the OBESSU Board at board@obessu.org.

Written by Ferre Windey, OBESSU Board member