The event represented an important step in identifying how to be more impactful in a larger number of countries, by leveraging and scaling-up existing multi-stakeholder initiatives through the STEM Alliance, to enhance STEM skills and employment opportunities for young people. STEM Alliance partner companies attending the event, entitled "Advancing and scaling-up education-industry collaboration", called for defining a strategy to make business-education collaboration a common practice across all European countries, including guidelines to facilitate structured cooperation at national level.
Advancing and scaling-up education-industry collaboration
The conference, jointly organised by the STEM Alliance and the SYSTEMIC project, funded by the European Union's Erasmus+ programme, demonstrated the business case for companies to invest in STEM Education and enhance the attractiveness of STEM jobs in Europe. To illustrate how, the conference showcased concrete experiences and best practices from STEM Alliance partners, with the hope of inspiring more companies and Ministries of Education to get involved. Participants were invited to reflect on the important issues of how to advance teacher placements in industry, encourage STEM professionals to visit schools, and motivate young people to choose STEM studies and careers.
The event was opened by Michael Teutsch from the European Commission's Directorate General for Education and Culture, and Sarah Atkinson, Vice-President of CA Technologies, a STEM Alliance partner. Co-chaired by Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet, and Celia Moore, member of the Board of Directors of CSR Europe, the event hosted a wide mix of companies, Ministries of Education and educational organisations that are strongly engaged in promoting STEM education and careers to young Europeans.
Sarah Atkinson, Vice-President of CA Technologies, commented that "Transforming young people's attitudes to STEM is a long-term project. It is through multi-stakeholder collaboration – between education, industry and government, that we will reach our common goal. We must develop students' skills and competencies to enable them to be continuous learners, creative problem solvers and the digital innovators who will take Europe forward as a major player in the global economy. Talent is the new currency".
Twelve teachers awarded for promoting STEM studies and careers
The finalists of the "All-STEM, All Stars" competition, organised by STEM Alliance as part of the STEM Discovery Week campaign in April 2017, were awarded during the event. Twelve teachers from the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Romania and Ukraine received recognition for their outstanding efforts in promoting STEM subjects and careers in their schools through innovative practices and methods.
Calling for an increase of public/private partnerships in STEM education
Scientific and digital literacy are a key focus of the Europe 2020 strategy and can only effectively advance through partnerships involving the various actors concerned by the STEM education challenge: industry, national education systems, European policy-makers, universities and other key players from non-profit organisations. The STEM Alliance confirmed its mission to continue building these much-needed partnerships, at this year's High-Level Event.
Since its launch in January 2016, more than 50,000 primary and secondary school students from 39 countries have participated in STEM Alliance activities. In two years, more than 1,200 STEM professionals from over 700 companies have been involved in school visits, mentoring and other activities across Europe. The STEM Alliance community continues to grow and welcomes more schools and companies to get involved.
Concluding the event Executive Director, Marc Durando, reflected: "The contextualisation of STEM learning via school-industry partnerships is of paramount importance in motivating young people and ensuring STEM education remains relevant and innovative. In order to inspire the next generation of scientific and digital leaders, the STEM Alliance is committed to expanding industry-education collaboration across Europe, while also enhancing its quality and effectiveness".
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For further information, please contact:
Caroline Kearney, Corporate Communications & Advocacy Manager - European Schoolnet
+32 (0)2 790 75 51, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pascale Wauters, Senior Communications Manager - CSR Europe
+32 (0)2 541 1610, email@example.com
About the STEM Alliance
The STEM Alliance brings together industries, Ministries of Education and education stakeholders to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education and careers to young Europeans and address anticipated future skills gaps within the European Union. The STEM Alliance builds on the success of the EU-funded inGenious initiative (2011-2014) to increase the links between STEM education and careers, by involving schools throughout Europe.
About European Schoolnet
European Schoolnet is the network of 31 European Ministries of Education, based in Brussels. As a not-for-profit organisation, we aim to bring innovation in teaching and learning to our key stakeholders: Ministries of Education, schools, teachers, researchers, and industry partners. European Schoolnet's mission is to support relevant education stakeholders in Europe in the transformation of education processes for 21st century digitalized societies. Our remit is to identify and test promising innovative practices, share evidence about their impact, and support the mainstreaming of teaching and learning practices aligned with 21st century standards for the education of all students.
About CSR Europe
CSR Europe is the leading European business network for Corporate Social Responsibility. Through its network of 45 corporate members and 41 National CSR organisations, it gathers over 10,000 companies, and acts as a platform for those businesses looking to enhance sustainable growth and positively contribute to society. Improving STEM skills and promoting quality business-education partnerships is a key priority for CSR Europe, as is reflected in the Pact for Youth launched in 2015.
SYSTEMIC is a strategic partnership project funded under KA2 of the Erasmus+ programme. The overall objective of the SYSTEMIC project ("Say Yes to STEM In the Classroom") is to increase young Europeans' interest in maths, science, engineering and technology education and careers and to provide teachers with the appropriate pedagogical tools to teach STEM topics differently and in a more attractive way.